The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has added four new categories to the upcoming GAME British Academy Video Games Awards presented in 2012. The four new categories are Debut Game, Online – Browser, Online – Multiplayer, and Performer. So what are these categories and why did they add them?
"BAFTA annually reviews its Awards categories to ensure they remain relevant and valued within the industry," explains Ray Maguire, Chairman of BAFTA’s Video Games Committee. "Over the last year, we have witnessed the increased sophistication and popularity of online gaming, and so our two new Online categories will ensure the scope of creative work in this area is being properly recognised. We are equally delighted to begin recognising the performance aspect within games, as we do for film and television, which further demonstrates the common ground between the industries. Debut Game is another important addition this year, which reflects the changing game-development landscape and the rise of new, independent studios."
As for the new categories; Debut Game rewards the best game from a new development studio that releases its very first title in 2011; Online – Browser awards the best online experience in the year and encompasses social, casual and browser games; Online – Multiplayer awards to the best traditional online multiplayer game experience for the year; and Performer recognizes excellence in a performance featured in a game – which could include motion capture, voice acting, etc.
The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards takes place Friday, March 16, 2012 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. It will be hosted by comedian and gamer Dara O’Briain. Nominations will be announced on February 16.