720,000 viewers stream BAFTA Games Awards show
James R | On 04, Apr 2020
The British Academy Games Awards unveiled their winners this week in the organisation’s first online-only award show – more than 720,000 fans tuned in to watch the ceremony.
Viewers tuned in from across the world to watch the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards, with 260,000 of those tuning in live to hear the winners revealed. The show was one of the only major awards celebrations to go ahead since the UK government lockdown, rather than be postponed or cancelled.
Following the lockdown, in 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.
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.
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. The winners’ acceptance speeches can be viewed as part of the live stream (on Facebook, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube). Highlights from the 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.