The Writers Guild of America has announced that Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Pillars of Eternity, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, are all in the running for the Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing award for 2015. In total, more than 40 writers worked on those projects, which should make for a lot of anxious faces on the big night.
The nominations in full:
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Story by Marc-Alexis Cote, Hugo Giard, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Narrative Director Corey May; Lead Writer Jeffrey Yohalem; Assistant Narrative Director Melissa MacCoubrey; Scriptwriters Russell Lees, Mark Llabres Hill, James Nadiger, Jared Schincariol, Travis Stout, Ceri Young; Additional Writing Judith Flanders, C.J. Kershner, Gabrielle Shrager, Danny Wallace; Additional Senior Writer Paul Monk; Ubisoft
- Pillars of Eternity, Lead Writer Eric Fenstermaker; Writers Carrie Patel, Olivia Veras; Additional Writing Chris Avellone, Jeff Husges, Matt MacLean, Jorge Salgado, Josh Sawyer, George Ziets; Obsidian Entertainment
- Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lead Narrative Designer John Stafford; Narrative Designer Cameron Suey; Lead Writer Rhianna Pratchett; Additional Writer Philip Gelatt; Microsoft
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Lead Writer Marcin Blacha; Lead English Writer Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz; Writers Arkadiusz Borowik, Aleksandra Motyka, Bartosz Ochman, Karolina Stachyra, Jakub Szamalek; Additional Writers Marcin Batylda, Michal Galek, Tomasz Marchewka, Robert Oglodzinski, Rafal Praszalek, Artur Sliwinski, Stanislaw Swiecicki, Pawel Zych; Story Marcin Blacha, Jakub Szamalek; CD Projekt
The nominations are limited to games released between December 1, 2014 and November 30, 2015, and must feature on-screen writing credits by writers who were members, or who had applied to become members, of the WGA when the scripts were submitted. And scripts must be submitted by their studios for consideration, which is one of the reasons that seemingly-obvious choices are sometimes overlooked; as WGA Videogame Writers Caucus Chairman Micah Ian Wright explained in a 2011 comment on GamesIndustry, BioWare and Take-Two refused to submit scripts for Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, or Red Dead Redemption, which is why none of them were in the running for that year's award. (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood ultimately won.)
It's interesting to note, as GamesIndustry did in a more recent post, that nominations for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain's award for Best Writing in a Videogame reflects a very different approach to the subject. Three games, with a total of eight writers, are up for that award: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Dan Pinchbeck), Her Story (Sam Barlow), and Sunless Sea (Alexis Kennedy, Richard Cobbett, Amal El-Mohtar, Chris Gardiner, Meg Jayanth and Emily Short).
The WGA's award for Outstanding Achivevement in Vidoegame Writing will be given out on February 13.