After taking a year off, BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) has confirmed that its annual video games awards ceremony is returning in 2009 with an event at the London Park Lane Hilton.
The 2008 event was canceled because judges needed more time to play the finished versions of major titles released at the end of the year. Last year’s awards
ceremony took place in October, with many of the games being judged only via pre-release code. Nominees for 2009’s awards are due to be announced on February 10th.
Otherwise, it'll be business as usual for BAFTA, with thirteen basic categories, three awards for special recognition, and the Dare to be Digital student competition. One new aspect, though, is the call for publishers and developers to produce short films detailing the making of their games, in order to better illustrate the creation process.
"We are keen to see the new filmed support material be developed by each nominee, as this is the sort of initiative that helps the wider world understand that the creation and development of video games is an art form, often with teams of hundreds of people and budgets on a par with feature films," said BAFTA committee chairman Ray Maguire.
"One of the many strengths of the British Academy Video Games Awards is that the focus is on creativity and innovation as opposed to a simple measure of commercial success. This enables niche but highly creative work to be recognized and rewarded."