Bafta Games awards: Hellblade leads the pack

Hellblade: Senua's SacrificeImage copyright
Ninja Theory

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has been nominated for Best Game and Game Innovation among other awards

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has won its first prize at the Bafta Games Awards.

The third-person action title – which features a female protagonist who suffers from psychosis – won a new category: Game Beyond Entertainment. It was developed by a Cambridge-based studio.

It is the most nominated game, having been put up for nine prizes.

However, it missed out on two other awards.

The Music prize went to the run-and-gun action title Cuphead. Night In The Woods took Narrative.

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A total of 45 games are up for awards at the ceremony

Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey was another early winner. It took the Game Design prize.

The multiplayer shooter Overwatch took the Evolving Game award, beating Fortnite to the prize.

‘Meaningful games’

The nominees for Best Game are:

  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • What Remains of Edith Finch

Hellblade was developed by Ninja Theory.

Gamers play a Pict warrior who has a mental illness. It has been widely commended for how it handles the condition.

“Right now in gaming, there’s a big movement towards making games that are more meaningful in nature, that reflect our human experience,” Tameem Antoniades, the game’s director, told the BBC ahead of the ceremony.

“We wanted to tackle something real that affects a lot of people… to actually give a taste of what that feels like.”

This year’s fellowship is being given to Tim Schafer.

Media captionTim Schafer: My games suffered ‘bit rot’

The American founder of Double Fine Productions was responsible for point-and-click classics including The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Broken Age.

Record sales

Sales of video games, consoles, PC gaming add-ons and other related products topped £5.1bn in the UK last year, according to trade body Ukie.

That marked a record high and a 12.4% improvement on the previous year.

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Guerrilla Games

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PlayStation exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is set in a world overrun by robots

The launches of the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox One X helped drive interest.

But challenges facing the sector include the price of graphics cards – which has been inflated by demand from the crypto-currency industry – as well as slower-than-forecast sales of virtual reality equipment.