The Last of Us has been crown Best Game of 2013 whilst also taking home another 4 BAFTA Video Game awards.
The 2014 BAFTA Video Game Awards took place tonight and saw Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed survival-thriller crowned Best Game as well as Best Action-Adventure Game, Best Audio Achievement, Best Performance and Best Story.
“In the words of Ellie: ‘So f’in cool’,” said Neil Druckmann, writer of The Last of Us, as he accepted the Best Game award.
“This is great. Big thanks to our bosses [Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra] who have given us so much freedom and also encouraged us to go beyond our comfort zone and stay honest to what we were originally trying to do with this game.”
Praising the other games nominated for Best Game, Bruce Straley, director of The Last of Us, said: “All the other games that were nominated: we get so busy making our game that we don’t get to breathe other games. When this game wrapped up we got to play all [them] .
“Grand Theft Auto V: what they’re doing technically is beyond comprehension and the content and the quality. Papers Please is so inspiring. Tearaway: I ripped my heart out. I was sitting there with a smile on my face the whole time. All these games are so inspiring to me. Please keep making games.”
He continued: “[Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells] thank you very much for all the support and everything that you allowed us to do. Sorry [Naughty Dog development team] for everything we put you through in production but thank you for sticking with us.”
“Thank you to our friends and partners … and everyone that helped made The Last of Us possible,” said Evans Wells.
Beating Ellen Page, Courtnee Draper, Kevan Brighting and Steven Ogg, Ashley Johnson won for her stunning performance as 14-year-old Ellie.
Her co-star, Troy Baker, who played Joel – and was also nominated – accepted the award on her behalf saying: “The Last of Us would not be what it was without her. What she meant to gaming, what she meant to performance in gaming, was truly a watershed moment for games to have a character that didn’t require someone to save her but in fact she ended up saving him.”
But it wasn’t just The Last of Us that featured a number of victories.
The game’s toughest competitor, Grand Theft Auto V, took home 3 Bafta awards for Best British Game, Best Game Design and Best Multiplayer.
Rockstar Games, the developers of the phenomenally successful action-adventure game, was also awarded with the BAFTA Fellowship Award at the end of the night.
Receiving a standing ovation from the crowd, Aaron Garbut, art director, Leslie Benzies, president of Rockstar North and producer, Dan Houser, co-founder and vice president of creative, and Sam Houser, co-founder and executive producer, were present to accept the award from Konami Digital Entertainment’s Vice President Hideo Kojima.
“This is a tremendous honour for us as mostly a British run company and passionate advocate of the medium and also as lovers of British film and consumers as children who watch lethal amounts of television,” said Dan Houser.
“Rockstar was founded with a mission statement that video games were the next mass-market entertainment medium, both as uniquely interesting and powerful. We as a company would serve two masters to prove this fact. Combining the production values of movies and an obsession of gameplay above all else.
He continued: “Back in 1998 and 1999, we began shouting this to whoever would listen. A few people laughed at us …. most people simply ignored us. Now, as far as I know, this is the first time BAFTA have given an award to 900 people. Rockstar is a team and a family and it’s always been our policy to focus on the importance of collaboration.”
After praising Benzies, Sam Houser and Garbut, Dan Houser finished: “To everyone in the industry who are trying brand new things, who is working with integrity and trying to push the medium forward in any way: we respect and honour you. We know how hard this business is but keep doing what you’re doing.”
It was also a successful night for Tearaway, the critically acclaimed PlayStation Vita title. Throughout the night the game received huge crowd cheers and ovations and won 3 BAFTAs for Best Artistic Achievement, Best Family Game and Best Mobile/Handheld Game.
Independent PC title Gone Home won Best Debut Game, BioShock Infinite won for Best Music, FIFA 14 won Best Sport Game, Papers Please won for Best Strategy & Simulation, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons won Best Game Innovation and Size Does Matter won the One To Watch Award.