Pickford slams BAFTA game awards

Veteran developer Ste Pickford has decried the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts' (BAFTA) Videogame Awards, saying the excessive fees charged to those submitting their games for consideration prevents indie developers from receiving the recognition they deserve.

Together with brother John, Pickford has worked on over 80 games, including the likes of beloved SNES platformer Plok!, turn-based strategy title Naked War, and most recently iOS game Magnetic Billiards, in a career spanning the best part of thirty years. In an opinion piece for Spong, Pickford congratulates iOS word game Quarrel DX for winning a Scottish BAFTA, but laments the way the awards are structured south of the border.

"They go almost exclusively to hit games from big publishers," he writes. "Usually to very good games, sure, but still almost exclusively to big budgets with big sales. This always struck me as strange.

"In the world of films, summer blockbusters rarely win the top awards… Making money and pursuing excellence rarely go hand in hand.

"The awards appear to be set up to help market successful triple-A games, rather than to highlight excellence per se. Increasingly the truly innovative and interesting work is happening in the indie scene and in lower budget titles…but the awards, as they stand, don't recognise this."

Pickford goes on to claim that submitting a game to BAFTA for consideration costs around £475, with a £225 registration fee on top if it's your first time. "This is a trivial amount to take from the marketing budget of a triple-A console title," he writes. "The fee seems designed to discourage smaller games from being involved."

The full post is well worth a read, making entirely fair points about how categorising the games BAFTAs by genre and platform "ghettoise" independent and mobile development. For more, follow the source link below.