2018 BAFTA Games Award Nominations

2018 BAFTA Games Award Nominations

Today the 2018 BAFTA Games Awards nominations were announced. The BAFTA Games Awards are given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, a charity who promote the arts and are more well known for their work with film and television. The President of the Academy has been Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge since 2010. BAFTAs have been given to films like 12 Years a Slave, The Lord of the Rings (more than one of them), Frozen, and Up. Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Marlon Brando have all been given them as well. In Television, winners include Sherlock and Doctor Who, just to name a couple of shows known globally.

The award given is a BAFTA, a golden mask. This award is given to film, television, and games all the same. In comparison, it’s like if a game won an Oscar. The closest to that we’ve ever seen in the United States was when Civilization IV’s theme song Baba Yetu won a Grammy. The BAFTAs are the only time that games are put on the same level as older media forms and treated as equals. So in my mind, the Game BAFTAs are the most important video game awards of the year.

2018 BAFTA Games Award Nominations

But, there’s a problem with that. You see, not every game can be nominated for a BAFTA. There are rules and there’s an application process that many studios aren’t bothered to do. As a result, you often see the same studios and publishers in the nominations. The biggest rule for qualifying for a BAFTA is that the game was at least in part made in the UK. This often means a lot of games are excluded. Also, many studios who could qualify don’t take part, for whatever reason. I don’t blame the BAFTAs for excluding games that aren’t made in the UK, I’m just pointing out a flaw in them being the most important video game awards.

As I said in just the last paragraph we often see the same studios nominated for games. Frontier has been a common one the last few years, as has Wargaming. This year, however, neither of them are in the nominations. Below is the full list of all the games that were nominated for awards this year. The online, multiplayer games are in green to make them easier to see.

 

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
CUPHEAD
GOROGOA
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY

AUDIO ACHIEVEMENT
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD WAR II
DESTINY 2
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY

BEST GAME
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH

BRITISH GAME 
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
MONUMENT VALLEY 2
REIGNS: HER MAJESTY
THE SEXY BRUTALE
SNIPER ELITE 4
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER II

DEBUT GAME
CUPHEAD
GOROGOA
HOLLOW KNIGHT
NIGHT IN THE WOODS
THE SEXY BRUTALE
SLIME RANCHER

EVOLVING GAME
CLASH ROYALE
FINAL FANTASY XV
FORTNITE
OVERWATCH
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX SIEGE

FAMILY
JUST DANCE 2018
LEGO WORLDS
MARIO + RABBIDS KINGDOM BATTLE
MONUMENT VALLEY 2
SNIPPERCLIPS
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

GAME BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT
BURY ME, MY LOVE
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
LAST DAY OF JUNE
LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM
NIGHT IN THE WOODS
SEA HERO QUEST VR

GAME DESIGN
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
NIER AUTOMATA
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH

GAME INNOVATION
GOROGOA
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
NIER AUTOMATA
SNIPPERCLIPS
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH

MOBILE GAME
BURY ME, MY LOVE
GOLF CLASH
GOROGOA
KAMI 2
MONUMENT VALLEY 2
STRANGER THINGS: THE GAME

MULTIPLAYER
DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2
FORTNITE
GANG BEASTS
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
SPLATOON 2
STAR TREK BRIDGE CREW

MUSIC
CUPHEAD
GET EVEN
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH

NARRATIVE
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
NIGHT IN THE WOODS
TACOMA
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH
WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS

ORIGINAL PROPERTY
CUPHEAD
GOROGOA
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
NIGHT IN THE WOODS
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH

PERFORMER
ABUBAKAR SALIM as Bayek in Assassin’s Creed Origins
ASHLY BURCH as Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn
CLAUDIA BLACK as Chloe Frazer in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
LAURA BAILEY as Nadine Ross in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
MELINA JUERGENS as Senua in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
VALERIE ROSE LOHMAN as Edith Finch in What Remains of Edith Finch

One thing that may stand out to you as missing is the MMORPG genre, or even just broadly MMOs. They only very rarely get nominated. In 2017 Final Fantasy XIV was nominated for Evolving Game. In 2015 we saw EVE Online, Runescape, World of Warcraft, and World of Tanks all nominated for the Persistent Games category. In 2014 World of Tanks was the only game nominated that MMOGames would cover. So, as you can see this is an ongoing problem in the BAFTAs. Of course, it isn’t just limited to the BAFTAs, this happens in every game award show. They are, for some reason, considered inferior to other games. It’s also a reflection of the declining market though. Not as many MMOs are being made and not as many are really worthy of winning an award.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of these nominations was seeing Star Wars Battlefront II on the list. Yes, it is for audio achievement, but it’s still a surprise to see attention being drawn to a game that has received so much negative press. It’s up against Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice though, and that game seems to be the big one this year, so there’s a chance at least that Star Wars won’t win.

I’m also quite surprised that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds didn’t make the Best Game category. It’s one of the most played and most talked about games at the moment. At least the game wasn’t completely ignored though, it does have three nominations for Evolving Game, Multiplayer, and Original Property. In the first two, they’re up against Fortnite which may be a tough game to beat. In Original Property, they’re up against Cuphead which…let’s be honest, it’s likely to win.

The Mobile Game category was an interesting one. First, I didn’t even know there was a Stranger Things game. I’m going to be going to the Google Play store for that right after I finish writing this. A golf game making the list was also a massive surprise. You don’t expect to see a golf game make any awards, no offense to Playdemic, the creators. I wonder, was this year slow for mobile games (from the UK) or is it that good of a game? I already have an awesome game called Not Golf on my phone so yes, I’ll be trying out this BAFTA nominated golf game too.

Overwatch was a pleasant surprise in the Evolving Game category. I had at that point in the announcements started to think there wouldn’t be any Blizzard titles this year. Evolving Games would have been the perfect category for MMOs. I am glad to see Fortnite and PUBG make the list and I think the winner will be one of those three. Which one is anyone’s guess though, they are each in their own right deserving of the award.

Speaking of the awards, they will be aired live online on April 12th at a time that has not yet been confirmed. Comedian and gamer Dara Ó Briain (who is actually Irish) will be hosting the awards show. The awards show will also include Tim Schafer being honored with BAFTA Fellowship in recognition of his creative contribution to the industry. It is the highest accolade given out by BAFTA. Others who have been recognized with it include; John Carmack, David Braben, Gabe Newell, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Will Wright. If you aren’t sure who any of these names are, you’ll want to look up some gaming history as these people revolutionized the industry.

Something else that went under the radar was Riot Games being given a BAFTA Special Award in recognition of the studio’s creative contribution to the games industry. This was handed out back in June. Who knows, maybe it’s a sign that the BAFTAs are addressing some of the concerns stated above.

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About Shannon Doyle

Shannon first discovered MMOs in 1999 when she picked up the newly launched Everquest. This started a lifelong love affair with online gaming that has taken her around the world and brought her to MMOGames.com. While she still pines for the streets of Paragon, the City of Heroes, today she spends most of her gaming time walking across Tyria in Guild Wars 2, roleplaying with anyone who says hello.