The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has confirmed it is making changes to the categories of its annual Games Awards.
Along with confirmation that the next Game Awards ceremony – which was introduced in 2003 to “recognise and celebrate creative excellence in games” – will take place on April 2nd, 2020, the organisation has also revealed it is making a number of changes to existing categories, as well as retiring some altogether.
Last year BAFTA’s line-up featured 23 categories: Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Best Game, British Game, Debut Game, EE Mobile Game of the Year, Evolving Game, Family, Game Beyond Entertainment, Game Design, Game Innovation, Mobile Game, Multiplayer, Music, Narrative, Original Property, Performer, Special Award, and five awards for recipients of BAFTA Young Game Designers.
“Following an annual review of the Games Awards’ categories, the below changes have been announced to reflect the importance of craft and technical expertise in game-making,” BAFTA said in a press statement. “An Animation category will be introduced to complement the existing Artistic Achievement category, addressing the important role this skillset plays in creating believable and engaging worlds. The category will be covering all elements of animation from player control and ambient animation to facial animation and cinematics.”
The existing Performer category will be split into “Performer in a Leading Role and Performer in a Supporting Role”, “reflecting the diverse range of performed roles seen in games, and bringing the category in line with the BAFTA film and television awards”, whilst the Game Innovation category will be absorbed into a new Technical Achievement award “designed to celebrate all elements of gameplay programming and visual engineering”.
Finally, BAFTA is retiring the Mobile Game award, as it is the “last remaining platform-specific award in the ceremony”. However, the EE Mobile Game of the Year award will continue to be awarded by the public.
“The British Academy Game Awards recognise and promote the brightest talent in games,” said Dr. Jo Twist OBE, chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee. “The committee acknowledges changes within the industry and works towards reflecting those in the BAFTA Games Awards’ categories. Throughout previous years mobile games have featured heavily across all categories, and we are confident this trend will continue. Our aim is to highlight the incredible craftsmanship of game development beyond their dedicated platforms.”
Nominations are welcome from now until November 14th for games released by December 13th, and December 13th for games released by December 31st – head to entry.bafta.org to submit Nominations are expected to be announced on March 3rd, 2020.