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BAFTA tweaks games categories as 2020 nominations open

Mobile award retired, performer category expanded, new technical achievement replaces game innovation

The British Academy for Film and Television Arts has made some changes to its video game awards ahead of next year's ceremony.

The organisation has dropped a couple of previous awards, added new categories and expanded one prize into two in order to "reflect the important of craft and technical expertise in game making."

Perhaps the most notable change is that the award for best mobile game will be retired. This was the last platform-specific award BAFTA offered, but has been dropped "in an effort to streamline categories." All other awards are open to mobile titles as usual.

There will still be a Mobile Game of the Year award as this is sponsored by mobile network provider EE. This category is decided by the public.

The Game Innovation award has also been dropped, but similar criteria will be considered for the new Technical Achievement award.

Meanwhile, BAFTA has added a new Animation category as a complement to the Artistic Achievement award. The new prize will focus on all aspects of animation, including player movement, facial animation and cinematics, while the previous prize will focus on broader visuals accomplishments.

Finally, the Performer category has been divided into two new prizes: one for leading role and one for supporting. BAFTA says this will "[reflect] the diverse range of performed roles seen in games" and brings the category more in line with how it's handled in the film and TV awards.

The British Academy Games Awards will return on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Nominations are now open, with a deadline of December 13.

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