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Capcom slams 'pay to play' AIAS awards

Capcom has slammed America's Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for demanding that publishers pay to become members of the organisation before they can be nominated in its annual awards show.

Capcom has slammed America's Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for demanding that companies pay to become members of the organisation before they can be nominated in its annual awards show.

As part of the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, the 10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards will take place next month, with high-profile titles from Epic Games, Bethesda and Nintendo in the running for multiple awards.

Capcom, which has released the critically acclaimed Okami for the PS2 and Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 in the past year, has not been included in any categories.

This is, according to Capcom, because it refuses to pay to become a member of the organisation, and "pay tens of thousands of dollars in order to present awards to our own games."

"According to the AIAS DICE website, 'Since 1998, the peer-based Interactive Achievement Awards are dedicated to recognising the outstanding products, talented individuals, and ground-breaking development teams that have propelled the advancement of the multi-billion dollar worldwide entertainment software industry'," said a statement from the publisher.

"What the site neglects to mention is that a product, individual or development team cannot and will not be nominated for an award unless a company buys its way in to the AIAS."

Capcom questioned the value of being a AIAS member, asking, "Does our company really need to pay tens of thousands of dollars in order to present awards to our own games? Capcom is supportive of many other programs, such as the International Game Developer Association's Game Developer's Choice Awards."

In previous year's, Capcom's Resident Evil 4 has been another title that the AIAS has refused to recognise, prompting individual members of the organisation to write-in votes for the game. However, the AIAS board warned Capcom that unless it paid to join, the hit title would not be eligible for consideration.

"Capcom Entertainment was contacted by the AIAS and told that the game would still not be eligible for any awards unless the company joined the organisation. Our company was told, in essence, "Pay to play," a sentiment echoed in the quote from the AIAS representative."

In Capcom's view, the prestigious awards are simply bought by companies paying for recognition amongst their peers.

"Again, from the AIAS webpage, their awards are supposedly about "Recognising the best games of 2006," highlighted the publisher. "Evidently, they mean, the best games that paid to be recognised."

"As a company, we find ourselves questioning the value or credibility of awards that seem to honour developers for their creative work, when the truth is that their marketing departments have to pay to obtain consideration. This is in no way to take away from games that have been nominated for AIAS awards," it concluded.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.