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BAFTA Games Awards head to US

Charity to kick-start transatlantic expansion with E3 Will Wright retrospective

BAFTA has revealed plans to take its successful Games Awards to the US as part of a major push to grow its presence and membership across the Atlantic.

The charity, whose film awards are recognised as the British Oscars, plans to launch its US games branch in Hollywood on June 5, at an event celebrating the career of Sims creator and Academy Fellow Will Wright.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz, BAFTA COO Kevin Price said: "Having grown our Video Games Awards year on year in the UK since 2006, we now plan to take these Awards to a truly international audience.

We will expand our events programme to the US and then take the Awards, either in part or in their entirety to the US

Kevin Price, BAFTA

"The first step in this journey is to invite video games members from the US into BAFTA. We will then expand our events programme to the US and then take the Awards, either in part or in their entirety to the US".

The Awards are currently an annual event in the UK, with this year's ceremony held in March at London's Park Lane Hilton.

In a release issued this morning to announce the US launch, BAFTA further confirmed it would form an LA-based video games committee to "represent its activities in America and feed directly into the London-based committee".

Will Wright will be interviewed for BAFTA: Life In Pixels, the first in a new series of events reflecting on the lives on gaming greats. The event, due to take place 5pm PST at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, is supported by IGN and Best Practices Laboratory, and has been timed for E3 week to boost the charity's new membership drive.

Price added: "With a 64-year history and global recognition as an international awards body, BAFTA is perfectly placed to set the global benchmark for creative excellence in video games".

A limited number of games industry tickets are available to the Life In Pixels event by contacting events@bafta.org.

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Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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