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BAFTA names four new games awards

Newcomers, online categories and actor performances recognised

BAFTA has expanded the number of trophies it awards for games, adding two specific prizes for online titles, one for best debut game and one for the best performance by an actor in a game.

The official names for the new awards are Debut Game, Online - Browser, Online - Multiplayer and Performer. The Debut prize will be given only to studios producing their very first game in the year of award, whilst the performer award could apply to either voice over or motion capture work.

Online - browser will encompass anything which operates in a browser, from small casual and social games to more established player on Facebook and other networks. Online - multiplayer refers not to games which are purely in that category, merely the best examples of online multiplayer across the board.

"BAFTA annually reviews its Awards categories to ensure they remain relevant and valued within the industry," said BAFTA's games chairman Ray Maguire.

"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. 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."

Next year's gaming BAFTAs will take place on Friday 16 March, 2012, with nominations opening on February 16.

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Dan Pearson