The Writers Guild of America will not be awarding video game writing this year, it’s said.
In a statement issued to USGamer, the Guild said the award category’s removal was due to the lack of a “meaningful” selection of WGA-covered game titles to choose from.
“There won’t be a Videogame Writing Award in 2020; however, the category will be reinstated when there is a critical mass of videogames covered by the WGA in order to provide a meaningful award selection process,” it said.
The Writers Guild of America has covered video game writing since at least 2008. Last year’s nominees included Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Batman: The Enemy Within, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, and the winner, God of War.
Many leading game writers have been critical of the award, with some claiming the category is little more than a recruitment drive for new members.
“I’ve never joined the WGA and never will,” wrote Half-Life and Portal writer, Chet Faliszek following the news.
“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.”
Mortal Kombat 11 writer, Shawn Kittelsen added: “The WGA Game Writing Award was never more than a way for the WGA to build its membership among game writers, incentivizing us to pay dues in exchange the privilege of being eligible for that award.
“For all the good and vital work that the WGA does for writers in the Film & TV markets, they have ZERO presence in the games industry. Getting rid of this award at least does away with the charade that the WGA advocates for game writers in any capacity.”