The British Academy Games Awards are the first major awards celebration to be held during UK lockdown
Nominees and host Dara O’Briain among those celebrating the best games of the past year with virtual viewing parties
Ceremony is now available to watch on:
Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/bafta
London, 3 April: Over 720,000 viewers tuned in from across the world to watch the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards last night, with 260,000 of those tuning in live to hear the winners revealed. The show was BAFTA’s first online-only awards and one of the only major awards celebrations to go ahead since the UK government lockdown, rather than be postponed or cancelled.
Following the UK lockdown, a response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the BAFTA Games Awards format quickly developed from its traditional ceremony format to a pre-produced show that was put together entirely remotely by BAFTA’s production team. The decision was made to alter the format with the health and safety of all nominees, guests and BAFTA staff in mind, while continuing to bring the global games community together to celebrate their achievements at a time when games are bringing people together more than ever before.
Comedian Dara O’Briain returned to host the awards for the a 10th year, recording from his basement while adhering to the black-tie dress code. A virtual red carpet was created, with presenter Elle Osili-Wood interviewing various nominees and familiar faces from the games industry in the run-up to the awards. All nominees were asked to record an acceptance speech and O’Briain was not provided with the winner’s names in advance, keeping the familiar awards show atmosphere of anticipation and excitement that a live ceremony would deliver.
Remedy Entertainment, Anna Brandberg, Anisa Sanusi and host Dara O'Briain were among the studios and nominees who hosted virtual viewing parties as they tuned in to find out the results. Many viewers adhered to the black tie dress code, with best-dressed of the night including Steffan Powell, Anna Holinrake and Shay Thompson.
Winners included Outer Wilds for Best Game, Observation for British Game and Kind Words (Lo Fi Chill Beats To Write To) for Game Beyond Entertainment. All winners provided acceptance speeches, which can be viewed as part of the live stream (e.g. on Facebook, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube). Highlights from the acceptance speeches included the appearance of a dog, a goose and a sheep! YouTube stars Ali-A and Clare presented the EE Mobile Game of the Year Award, which recognises the mobile game that offers the best experience over a network, as voted for by the public. The digital show also featured a ‘year in games’ highlights reel and an acceptance speech from Fellowship recipient, Hideo Kojima.
Photography from the show and images of the audience viewing from home are available at www.bafta.thirdlight.com
For further information or winners interview requests please contact:
Izzy Baker/ WDW Entertainment
Sophie Dudhill / BAFTA
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.