Along with its own awards ceremonies, VR has been recognised at respected videogame and film shows over the past 12 months, and now it’s coming to one of the UK’s most prestigious institutions: BAFTA.
The nominations for this year’s BAFTA Game Awards have been announced, and Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) is once again leading the charge for virtual reality. Three PSVR games have been nominated across the event’s traditional categories. Walking away with two nominations is Rocksteady Games’ Batman: Arkham VR [Review: 5/10], the PSVR launch title that grabbed a lot of people’s attention last October. It’s up for both Game Innovation and British Game. Rocksteady were previous recipients of the Best Game award in 2010 with the game that started it all, Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Another popular PSVR launch game, Rez Infinite [Review: 8/10], is recognised in the Audio Achievement category, which isn’t surprising given the game’s music has helped it become a cult classic since its original version on the Dreamcast. Brilliantly, Sony Japan’s excellent party game, Playroom VR, is also nominated in the Family category.
As expected, though, it’s Pokemon GO that grabs the most nods in terms of reality-altering games. The hugely popular augmented reality smartphone app is up for Mobile, Family, and Game Innovation awards.
While it’s a relief to see any VR games nominated at all, it’s a shame BAFTA hasn’t recognised VR and AR with its own category this year, and hasn’t given nods to any titles on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or mobile VR headsets. Batman might show off VR’s remarkable tracking capabilities, but these kinds of experiences were available on Vive months before PSVR launched, and Oculus Studios’ suite of high-polished VR games deserve a nod too.
Still, with VR headsets still yet to truly break into even the wider gaming audience, it’s not surprising to see these titles overlooked. Maybe next year they’ll get better representation.