The Writers Guild of America drops video games from its awards category

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Santa Monica's God of War is the last game to have won The Writers Guild Award for its exceptional script as the awarding body has now dropped the video games category from its 2020 awards.

The decision was reportedly made due to a lack of qualifying titles which the WGA deemed no longer competitive or meaningful enough to justify the category. Speaking to Gamasutra, a representative from WGA said that the 'Videogame Writing Award' would "be reinstated when there is a critical mass of video games covered by the WGA in order to provide a meaningful award selection process."

One of the reasons why there isn't a critical mass of video games appears to have to do with the eligibility requirements for writers set by WGA, where they need to be part of the 'Videogame Writers Caucus' to qualify for the award.

Predictably, the decision has not been well received at all by prominent figures in the gaming industry, including Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, who received such an accolade in 2014 for his work on PlayStation's hugely popular exclusive: The Last of Us.

Another video game writer, Chet Faliszek, who worked on Portal and Half-Life, also expressed his discontentment over the decision.

Since its inception in 2008, starting with Dead Head Fred, the 'Writers Guild Award' has been awarded to multiple installments of Uncharted and Assassin's Creed as well as Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn.

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kira setsu

TS Addict
Gameplay beats story imo, I will give uncharted and H:ZD their dues because theyre straight up fun, but tlou and that new gow were boring as dirt, if you wanna get a writing award go make a movie.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
The popularity contest isn't for the gamers, it is for the career of the writers. It lets them say to a producer 'look, I write good, award-winning stories - hire me over the other candidate'. WGA was in a catch-22 of their own design. Game writers didn't join because they wouldn't be allowed to vote; they weren't allowed to vote because they hadn't been around long enough; games would be voted on by people who don't understand the kind of branching-scripts video game stories require, so the award would be meaningless for the first few years as likely only linear stories would win.

Without the awards, that is less incentive for studios and producers to focus on story-driven games as a revenue device, and more relative incentive to focus on loots boxes instead.