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The Writers Guild Won't Be Awarding Video Game Writing Until More Games Are Made by Members

The union is waiting for a "critical mass," but some writers don't seem eager.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Games have become increasingly acknowledged at awards shows over the past few years, but in 2020, it looks like one show will be dropping the category. The Writers Guild of America will not be awarding Videogame Writing this year, due to lack of what the guild describes as a "critical mass" of WGA-covered games.

First rumblings started yesterday morning when Insomniac writer Mary Kenney said she'd been told the WGA was suspending the category. In what she described as "one step forward, seven steps back," she said she was 98% confident in it being true. Taking a glance at the timeline for the 2020 awards nomination process, games writing is not listed among the categories.

In a statement to USgamer, a spokesperson for the Writers Guild confirmed the category would be suspended for the time being. While the door was left open for it to return, the issue seems to be a lacking presence of WGA-covered games.

"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."

Going back through the WGA's awards records, the category has been around since at least 2008, where Dead Head Fred for the PlayStation Portable won. 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.

Cover image for YouTube videoGod of War PS4 Story and Gameplay Trailer + Release Date

The Writer's Guild of America, broken up into West and East divisions, is a labor union comprised of many writers, including those who work on television, film, and web media. Unionization within the industry has been a hot-button topic for the last few years, with pro-union advocates hosting roundtable discussions about ways in which developers in the industry could better organize.

Some writers have intimated that this isn't a devastating loss, however.

While this means narrative-centric games from this year like Telling Lies or Control will have one less award, response seems to indicate this is another step in a strained relationship between the writers of games and the WGA.

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God of War

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About the Author
Eric Van Allen avatar

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.