BAFTA will present the prestigious Academy Fellowship to Rockstar Games at the British Academy Games Awards on 12 March 2014.
London, 3 March 2014: BAFTA has today announced that Rockstar Games will be presented with the Fellowship at this year’s British Academy Games Awards ceremony at the Tobacco Dock, London, on Wednesday 12 March.
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.
Fellowships previously bestowed for groundbreaking work in games include Gabe Newell, Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Will Wright.
As the driving forces behind Rockstar Games, Sam Houser, Dan Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut will attend the ceremony to accept the accolade on behalf of the company. It is Rockstar Games’ revolutionary approach to games that helped bring the medium to the masses, particularly with Grand Theft Auto, one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful game series of all time.
It was the Grand Theft Auto series’ shift into 3D with Grand Theft Auto III that raised the bar for game-making, as players were immersed in a highly detailed, open world where they could explore gritty urban locations and follow the game’s narrative at their own pace. The game’s resounding success earned the company global recognition.
Grand Theft Auto IV moved the series into high definition and became one of the highest-rated games of all time. The game’s critical success was matched by sales; it earned the Guinness World Record for single day sales of an entertainment product, a record now held by the next game in the series, 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V.
The Grand Theft Auto series, alongside groundbreaking games such as L.A. Noire, Manhunt, Bully and Red Dead Redemption, cemented Rockstar Games’ reputation for creating intricately layered interactive worlds that have kept the company at the forefront of the gaming industry for over a decade, both critically and commercially.
“We have long believed in the potential for videogames to become a new form of cultural expression and worked to show that in our games, so for us accepting the BAFTA Fellowship is incredibly humbling,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “This honour reflects the creative vision and dedication of a huge number of people over many years, and we look forward to accepting the Fellowship on their behalf.”
Harvey Elliott, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee , added: “It is hugely exciting to be able to recognise the amazing contribution made by Rockstar to the games industry over the past 16 years. The creativity and passion exhibited by the Rockstar teams have inspired a generation of game developers to raise the bar in every aspect of game development. From design and mechanics, through to storytelling, cinematics and audio immersion, and in the process creating games that compete so profoundly on a global stage across all entertainment media. Rockstar, this Fellowship is wholly deserved."
The British Academy Games Awards take place on Wednesday 12 March at the Tobacco Dock, London, and will be hosted for the sixth consecutive year by comedian and gamer Dara O Briain.
Public tickets for the ceremony and Inside Games, BAFTA’s showcase of the latest games from the world’s biggest studios, can be purchased from http://bit.ly/InsideGames.
The ceremony will be streamed live online at Twitch.tv . For the first time, BAFTA Los Angeles will be celebrating the awards and the nominees with a series of special events in the USA. BAFTA’s website, www.bafta.org will also feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA) , Twitter (@BAFTAGames / #BAFTAGames ), and Tumblr .
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org and www.bafta.org/guru .