The big picture: The Writers Guild of America has been awarding talented video game script writers since 2008, but the organization has decided to drop this category from its upcoming 2020 awards and potentially future events, citing a lack of qualifying titles. The organization says that it's open to reinstating the category if things improve in the future. However, it seems the reason that has led to this situation might have to do with the submission requirements set by the WGA in the first place, particularly one where writers need to be a part of the 'WGA Videogame Writers Caucus'.
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.
Very disappointed at the WGA for removing the video game category from their awards. A misguided slap in the face for writers in games. https://t.co/663vOFXDhH— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) October 3, 2019
Another video game writer, Chet Faliszek, who worked on Portal and Half-Life, also expressed his discontentment over the decision.
I’ve never joined the WGA and never will. To win this award you have to be a member. When they asked us to join so we could win - we could pay dues, but not vote because game writing isn’t real writing, not like have a short story published in a zine read by 12 people. https://t.co/o9UFzWf0U7— Chet Faliszek (@chetfaliszek) October 2, 2019
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.