The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced the Games Awards categories and nominees earlier today, and esports wasn’t included within that.
For the past two years BAFTA has included an AMD Esports Audience Award in the ceremony, with SMITE winning in 2016 and Clash Royale in 2017.
This award was voted for by the public, so publishers and developers with a big marketing push for votes may have had a higher chance of winning.
For now, BAFTA has dropped the esports award for this year and will be reviewing ‘how to best represent esports’ in the future.
A spokesperson told Esports News UK: “While BAFTA’s awards celebrate creativity and excellence in the craft of game development, esports is much more than that; it’s an event experience that currently falls outside of BAFTA’s remit.
“As such we introduced the category as a sponsored Audience Award category, as voted for by the public and, most recently, sponsored by AMD. As this category is no longer sponsored, it is not running this year.
“However, we do appreciate the impact and key nature of esports, and it’s great to see a number of esports titles feature among the nominations this year. We review our categories and eligibility requirements every year, and so the discussion on how to best represent esports in the ceremony continues.”
“While BAFTA’s awards celebrate creativity and excellence in the craft of game development, esports is much more than that; it’s an event experience that currently falls outside of BAFTA’s remit.”
A total of 45 games have been recognised for 2018, with the awards aiming to showcase the best games of the past 12 months and creative excellence from developers.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice leads the way with nine nominations, Horizon Zero Dawn follows with eight, while What Remains of Edith Finch has seven.
Some competitive titles have a mention: Fortnite, PUBG and Splatoon 2 have all been nominated in the Mulitplayer category.
You can check out the full list of BAFTA Games categories and nominations for 2018 here.
There’s also a new Game Beyond Entertainment category, introduced to recognise games that deliver ‘a transformational experience beyond pure entertainment’, like Life is Strange: Beyond the Storm, which explores themes of love, friendship and bullying, Night in the Woods, which explores issues surrounding depression and the class system in small-town America, and more.
The ceremony will be hosted by Dara O’Briain on Thursday April 12th at Troxy in London, and will be streamed online.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.