Why are Rockstar not submitting Red Dead Redemption for a BAFTA?

January 7, 2011, Author: Neil Hughes

Here at This Is My Joystick and many other gaming sites, it was no surprise to see that many writers have selected Red Dead Redemption as their game of the year recently. At the Spike TV video game awards in Los Angeles before Christmas, it took home four awards which were Game of the Year, best song, original score and downloadable content.

An award-winning game, adored by fans and critics should be enough to delight Rockstar but they are much to cool for that or so it would seem. That is my impression from the recent news that Red Dead Redemption will not be put forward by Rockstar for the BAFTA Video Game Awards in March, at the London Hilton on Park Lane. CVG reported the story in December and a spokesperson for BAFTA explained that the game was “eligible for the awards” but Rockstar had “decided not to put the game forward for consideration”.

I have since e-mailed the main PR contacts for Rockstar on two separate occasions for an official response as to why they were not putting the game forward, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. I have not even been dignified with a response as of yet. Instead, I was forced to look at the weird and wonderful internet to see what people are making of this strange decision.

A few people out there believe Rockstar are simply keeping it real, and to be seen at black tie events by the establishment is a far cry from socking it to the man or being “Rock n Roll”. Another popular opinion on the interweb is that Rockstar don’t want to be throwing money at the event. A quick look at the BAFTA website suggests that the fees to have your game considered by the BAFTA jury would cost the following: Developer: £135 + VAT, Publisher: £225 + VAT and Entry Fee: £250 + VAT per game entered. This is just to have a game considered, but this would be followed by other expenses for actually attending the big event.

John Marston walks off into the sunset...

I honestly doubt that money would have anything to do with them not putting the game forward with how well Red Dead has performed this year; cash should not be an issue. However there is an argument pride that could be at stake. If you have a game that you know is good and has wide critical acclaim, being forced to pay for the privilege of entering an award ceremony, which would benefit the awards and sponsors more than yourself, could be deemed an insult to some people.

The BAFTA video game shortlist will be debated by a panel in early 2011 to decide the eventual winners. If last years Tweets from Jason Bradbury and Johnny Minkley are anything to go by, it sounded more like the film “12 Angry Men”, with the panel locked in a room for hours in an intense battle before they could reach an agreement.

If I ever get a response back from Rockstar, I will be sure to update you all, but whilst we wait I am interested in what you think on the subject. Will the BAFTA Video Game Awards be devalued without Red Dead Redemption? Why do you think Rockstar haven’t put the game forward for an award?