A still from 2018 Bafta Video Game Awards multiple winner ‘God of War’. — Picture from Sony Interactive Entertainment via AFP-Relaxnews
A still from 2018 Bafta Video Game Awards multiple winner ‘God of War’. — Picture from Sony Interactive Entertainment via AFP-Relaxnews

LONDON, Sept 10 — The British Academy’s April 2020 video game awards ceremony will inaugurate three new awards, as Best Performer now recognises Leading and Supporting roles, Excellence in Animation joins the existing Artistic Excellence award, and mobile’s advancements mean a separate category is no longer required.

When it takes place on April 2, 2020, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ Video Game Awards will have added four new categories, retiring two others.

Its Performer award will now generate two accolades, one for Leading Roles and the other for Supporting Roles, just as with major film and television awards ceremonies, including the Bafta’s very own. The difference here is that Bafta’s Games Awards structure does not require separate male and female categories.

Not that supporting actors and actresses had been completely absent from the gala presentation stage — Jeremy Davies won 2019’s Performer award for his portrayal as The Stranger in Grecian-Nordic mythological action game crossover God of War — but awards panels had tended to favor leading roles.

In addition, an Animation category is being created alongside the existing Artistic Achievement to highlight how critical character and environmental movement has become in creating believable and engaging worlds, Bafta explained; all elements of animation will be eligible for consideration.

Meanwhile, Game Innovation is being absorbed into a larger Technical Achievement category, one intended to encompass all elements of gameplay programming and visual engineering.

Finally, mobile gaming’s broad acceptance both socially and with regards to Bafta’s awards process is also being recognised.

“Throughout previous years mobile games have featured heavily across all categories, and we are confident this trend will continue,” said Bafta Games Committee Chair, Jo Twist, explaining the decision to retire an award specifically for mobile games.

That’s borne out by 2019’s spread of winners: the Mobile Game award went to story-driven romantic wandering Florence, which was nominated in five other categories; My Child Lebensborn and The Room: Old Sins were also nominated outside of the Mobile category.

Concurrently, advances in game development software make it conceptually easier to develop and publish across console, computer and mobile, with Fortnite as a prominent example.

The change means that the Bafta Games Awards no longer have any platform-specific categories, allowing them to better “highlight the incredible craftsmanship of game development beyond their dedicated platforms.”

A sponsored EE Mobile Game of the Year Award will remain in place, decided by public vote.

Nominations for the 2020 British Academy Games Awards are to be announced on March 3. — AFP-Relaxnews


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