I think that the January release date was a double-edged sword for HITMAN 3, and this is the other side of it. Even though I’m sure it’s unintentional, entertainment industry awards often suffer from some degree of recency bias: the Oscars is famous for this, with studios perennially releasing their expected big-hitter Awards-candidate films in November/December so that they are fresh in the minds of voters early in the new year when votes are being cast.
I think HITMAN 3’s [completely unfair, IMO] lack of recognition in these awards is partly due to its early release date in the GA’s calendar and that judges may well have had the latest new shiny bauble (e.g. Metroid Dread etc) at the front of their minds because they’d simply played it more recently. The downside of the January release date.
On the upside, HITMAN 3’s release date seems to have been a big part of the reason why it sold so well in comparison to HITMAN and HITMAN 2 - it was perfectly timed for owners of new Playstation and Xbox consoles looking for a AAA game to pick up and run on their new shiny hardware, and there weren’t any other big titles around in January/early February to distract from H3’s launch. (See the atrocious release date of H2 for comparison, going up for sale very shortly after many gamers had just spent big on RDR2.)
On balance, I’d prefer IOI to have reaped the benefit in sales from their January release date so that they are well funded for their future endeavours (which I very much hope includes rounding out the WoA trilogy with the long-hoped-for proper Offline modes and permanent return of ETs etc, as well as Project 007 and their other games), and if that comes at the cost of being forgotten by the Games Awards then that’s a trade I’d be willing to make.