In Matrix Resurrections, Keanu Reeves wins the Game Awards in 1999

The reality the Matrix built for Thomas Anderson (aka Neo) in Matrix resurrections is not one that fans of the original trilogy will remember. Anderson is still a programmer, but he’s far more successful than a “program writer” living in a booth for respectable software company MetaCortex from the original 1999 film.

In Resurrections, he’s a rockstar video game designer and responsible for a hit game trilogy called … The Matrix. In another case of writing reality, The matrix – the fictional video game with several levels of depth – is also a winner of the Game of the Year award at the Game Awards.

[Ed. note: This post contains minor spoilers for The Matrix Resurrections.]

In the world according to Matrix resurrections, which premiered on Wednesday, Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards existed 15 years earlier, and The matrix, a game designed by Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) won its first prize in ’99. Keighley revealed on Sunday that director Lana Wachowski had requested a TGA statuette to use in a key scene, and he was happy to return them to his show’s Hall of Fame.

Understandably, this sparked a laughing board game on Twitter: what games made The matrix beaten that year? While there wasn’t a series of awards with the large audience genre (and entry pool) like The Game Awards, the top game publications of the day recognized some outstanding works, which means Keanu’s game really had to be something else.

Deus Machina is the name of Anderson’s studio; it’s not The RPG series of Eidos coming in second. (Although Deus Ex threw less than a year later.) The scene is basically a meta-joke about the popularity of the Matrix movies; three video games that Anderson made have been huge successes, so naturally Deus Machina’s parent company – literally Warner Bros., by the way – is asking for a fourth.

I mean, can you blame them? Watch all games The matrix shouted for her first GOTY. Shareholders would fire any C suite officer who did not deal with this kind of IP:

  • Chrono Croix (Square / SquareSoft)
  • Tony Hawk’s professional skater (Neversoft / Activision)
  • EverQuest (Verant Interactive / Sony Online Entertainment)
  • Final fantasy 8 (Square / Soft square)
  • Soulcalibur (Soul / Namco Project – launched in September 1999 for Dreamcast)
  • silent Hill (Quiet Team / Konami)
  • Shock system 2 (Irrational games / Electronic arts)
  • The siphon filter (Eidetic / 989 Studios)

Others mentioned Shenmue, but it launched in Japan on December 29, 1999 and in the West a year later, so it likely wouldn’t have been in the candidate pool for an awards show that aired the first week of December. As for earthquake 3, while it was undoubtedly a revolutionary work among multiplayer shooters, it was launched on December 2, 1999. (Another great work from 1999, Gran Turismo 2, launched December 11 in Japan and December 23 in the West.)

The matrix would also have beaten Unreal tournament, the arena shooter from Epic Games that won several Game of the Year awards and nominations in 1999. That only makes things slightly embarrassing for Epic, which produced Matrix awakenings in Unreal Engine 5 as a link with Resurrections, and whose CTO Kim Libreri and Creative Director Donald Mustard appear in the film as employees of Deus Machina.

Ouch! TGAs have been called a lot of things, but it’s cold! Additionally, Lana Wachowski is fortunate that the first film premiered in 1999 – one of the few years around this time that Hideo Kojima didn’t launch a game. Solid metal gear come a year later, we’re not sure his good friend Geoff Keighley could have accepted this gag on sight.

I’m joking. Anyway, if Keanu Reeves is a presenter at the Game Awards 2022, for the third year in a row, it’s a safe bet that this scene will be replayed. In which case, we would ask Keighley and his production company not to stage it on a rooftop bar, and maybe reposition the Game Awards Orchestra if it’s back at the Microsoft Theater in LA.

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