BAFTA upgrades GAME awards with four new categories

Game makers will have four more ways to take home a trophy at next year's GAME British Academy Video Game Awards. This week, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced it is powering up its video game categories with new awards for first timers, online titles, and virtual actors.

The new categories will debut at the 2012 BAFTAs. They include an award for Debut Game, to be given to the best freshman game developed by a new studio in 2011; Online: Browser, for the best internet browser-based title; Online: Multiplayer, an expansion on BAFTA's Multiplayer category; and Performer, to be awarded to the best in-game performance through via mo-cop, voice work, or other means.

“BAFTA annually reviews its awards categories to ensure they remain relevant and valued within the industry. 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,” explained Ray Maguire, Chairman of BAFTA's Video Games Committee (aka Best. Committee. Ever.). “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.”

The 2012 BAFTA's will occur on March 16, 2012, with nomination to be announced one month prior on February 16th. They will take place at the London Hilton on Park Lane and be hosted by gamer comedian Dara O'Brian. What's a gamer comedian, you ask? Have a look:

Oct 7, 2011

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.