Uncharted 4 wins best game at Baftas awards

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Uncharted 4 has won the best game at this year’s Bafta Games Awards.

Developers from its studio, Naughty Dog, said it was “unexpected”. The action adventure title had earlier missed out on seven other categories it had been nominated for.

Chaotic restaurant kitchen game Overcooked took the prize for best British game and family title.

The surreal puzzle-platformer Inside had four wins, the most of any game at the London ceremony.

It took original property, artistic achievement, game design and narrative.

Brenda Romero has received this year’s special award.

The co-owner of Romero Games has helped develop dozens of titles including the Wizardry series; Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes; and Playboy: The Mansion.

She said the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ event held importance.

“I remember when Bafta started recognising video games,” she said.

“To me that was the single most important move in our entire industry for recognising us as an art form [at a time when] people were saying games were bad or games were wastes of time.”

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She was joined at the event by her husband John Romero, who helped design Doom and the original Wolfenstein 3D.

Cancer-inspired game

The developers of That Dragon, Cancer were emotional when they made their speech after winning the prize for game innovation.

The title was inspired by the death of two of the team’s son, who was diagnosed with cancer when just one year old. He died four years later.

“Our life with Joel was hard but it was really beautiful,” said his mother Amy Green, who wrote the game’s story.

“So, when we thought about creating a game that would become the only legacy he would have – the legacy we chose and he could not – we created a game that was hard to play.

“But we believe it was beautiful and we thank you for believing the same thing.”

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch won best multiplayer. The team-based first-person shooter was designed for e-sports and is notable for featuring LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) characters.

The AMD e-sports audience award, however, went to Clash Royale, a real-time card-based title featuring characters from the blockbuster mobile game Clash of Clans.

Best debut game went to Firewatch, an unusual mystery adventure in which the player communicates with another person via a handheld radio. It also scored Cissy Jones an award for her performance as the voice heard, Delilah.

Audio achievement went to The Last Guardian, a much-delayed fantasy title from Sony Interactive. It was released in December, five years after it was originally expected to debut.

Rocket League won best evolving game – meaning a title that continually changes via updates – having already won three prizes at 2016’s event.

The “ones to watch” prize – which highlights new talent – went to Among the Stones. The platformer was developed as a prototype by six students for their Abertay University course.

Brexit fears

More than 12,000 people are directly employed by the video games industry in the UK.

The awards took place at a time when the country’s video games trade body Ukie has warned that Brexit could result in some studios moving overseas if it leads to an immigration clampdown.

“We need diversity of talent – not just in terms of different languages, different perspectives, different culture to put into our creative products but also different experiences,” the organisation’s chief executive Jo Twist told the BBC ahead of the Baftas.

“And being able to have a friction-free system to be able to hire in the best talent from wherever they are across the globe to the UK [is needed] to keep our place at the top of the table.”

Last year, $ 99.6bn of video games were sold worldwide, according to research firm Newzoo, representing an 8.5% gain on the previous year and a bigger sum spent on movies.

It said China represented the biggest market in terms of consumer spend with the UK in sixth place.

The nominees for best game had included Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Firewatch, Inside and Stardew Valley in addition to the winner Uncharted 4.

Last year’s winner was Fallout 4.

Category Winner
Best game Uncharted 4
British game Overcooked
Narrative Inside
Game design Inside
E-sports Clash Royale
Mobile Pokemon Go
Family Overcooked
Multiplayer Overwatch
Performer Cissy Jones – Firewatch
Ones to watch Among the stones
Artistic achievement Inside
Debut game Firewatch
Game innovation That Dragon, Cancer
Audio achievement The Last Guardian
Music Virginia
Original property Inside
Evolving game Rocket League
Special award Brenda Romero

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