If you've been following the online conversation around gaming for the last couple of years, Geoff Keighley is a man that will need no introduction. And he'll be appearing on our screens again soon, as he takes to the stage to host Gamescom Opening Night Live next week!


Keighley, of course, has been hosting The Game Awards for a while now. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, scuppering plans for in-person events like E3 and Gamescom in 2020, it was Keighley who stepped up, producing and hosting the online Summer Game Fest showcase to plug the gap in the industry's yearly promotional cycle.

Flash forward to 2023, and now Keighley has three big dates circled in his diary every year: he still hosts Summer Game Fest in June (which now has an in-person element to boot), and he hosts Gamescom Opening Night Live in August, and he hosts The Game Awards in December. And he doesn't just turn up on the day, either; he produces the shows too.

Ahead of this year's Gamescom, RadioTimes.com had the opportunity to send Keighley a few questions over email. One of the things we wanted to ask him was this: does Geoff feel a lot of pressure/responsibility now that he hosts three of the main beats throughout the gaming year?

Keighley wrote back, "That’s a good way to frame it – lots of pressure and responsibility. I’m deeply honored our team is trusted to produce these shows. I also know that fans have an insatiable appetite for new game announcements and surprises.

More like this

"Unlike a 1st party or publisher we don’t make or develop games – our shows are platform agnostic. That allows us to pull from a larger potential pool of games, but it also means we are very much at the mercy of which games are ready to be announced or not committed to other events through marketing deals.

"So it can be stressful – and we aren’t always going to deliver against expectations. Fans really loved last year’s Game Awards, for instance, but that just means the pressure increases for the next one. I’m honored that the community tunes in and the industry supports these events."

And what sets Gamescom Opening Night Live (ONL) apart from the other shows that Geoff produces? Keighley told us, "As opposed to being a stand-alone event, ONL is part of an amazing and massive scale festival for games – it’s very much a kick-off to Gamescom."

If you've ever had the privilege to be in the live in-person audience for one of Keighley's shows, you'll know that he doesn't just stop for a cuppa when the trailers are being shown. You can tell there's a lot going on his earpiece, on his phone, and all around him in the gaps between his pieces to camera.

Geoff Keighley holding a microphone and presenting a segment on the Gamescom Opening Night Live stage.
Geoff Keighley mid-segment at Gamescom Opening Night Live. Getty

How does it feel when he’s up there on stage? Keighley said, "Honestly it’s so much fun to be up there, and I’m always curious to see what the fans are saying online – what did they think of the last announcement, how are they feeling about the show so far?

"I check my phone during the show to gauge reaction, as it helps me better listen and understand how to host the rest of the show. We are truly live, so it's important I am aware of what people are saying and thinking."

Given that a lot of the gaming world’s promotional material goes through him, how does Keighley decide what does and doesn’t get the spotlight?

He explained, "We try our best to present showcases that are balanced – big franchises, new IPs, new teams, a mix of genres, and so forth. These shows are a vital way for smaller teams to get noticed, but sadly we aren’t able to include nearly all the titles that are pitched to us.

"I should note that for an event like Gamescom ONL, we focus on games and publishers/developers that are going to be part of the overall Gamescom experience."

And what is Keighley hoping to try out himself on the Gamescom show floor this year? He told us, "I have a busy few days of meetings – there are a few games I’m excited to try out, but can’t say anymore, as I would be spoiling some of our ONL lineup!"

To find out for yourself what's in the show, tune in to Gamescom Opening Night Live at 7pm BST on Tuesday 22nd August. You can do so in the player below!

Gamescom 2023 will take place all next week at the Koelnmesse conference centre in Cologne, Germany. You can learn more about it with our dedicated page about the event.

Subscribe to our free Gaming Newsletter for weekly insights, and follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Looking for something to watch? Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.