The nominations for the 2020 BAFTA Game Awards were revealed this morning and, as with previous years, there’s little in the way of recognition of achievements in VR game development.
Indeed, Vacation Simulator from Owlchemy Labs is the only native VR game among the list of over 100 nominees. The Google-backed project is nominated in the Family category which is a little ironic given that, even though the content of the game certainly falls under that category, most VR headsets only recommend use from age 13 up.
The only other mention of a VR game is for No Man’s Sky: Beyond in the Evolving Games category. Hello Games’ sci-fi epic added VR support last summer as part of the titular update. Last year, Beat Saber was up for Debut Game and PlayStation’s Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was up for Best Game.
Whilst it’s true that VR is still a fledgling industry yet to capture the interest of most people, lots of VR developers have been pushing the boundaries of the platform in the past year. The groundbreaking physical interactions of Stress Level Zero’s Boneworks, the pulse-pounding design of Pistol Whip or the breathtaking scope of Asgard’s Wrath; you could argue these all deserve a place standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other nominees. VR does have its very own UK-based awards show, but nothing recognized by BAFTA itself.
As it stands, we’ll be rooting for Vacation Simulator when the BAFTA Games Awards takes place April 2. Still, with a certain Half-Life game releasing later this month, we’d be willing to bet VR gets a better showing at future awards.