Consistently in gaming, one of the strangest nomination lists each year comes from one of the most prestigious organisations in entertainment. Did you know that the Writer's Guild of America hand out awards for writing in video games? Well, they do and it is usually an odd affair.
This is because in order to be considered, you have to be a part of or have applied to be part of the WGA. This means that usually only games that have huge budgets or publishers are considered. Indie games and smaller AAA games don't often have the resources to apply.
So, each year there is always a hodge podge of games pieced together from the AAA market with middling stories. They are also often accompanied by DLC for popular titles too, diluting the selection even more.
This year is no different. Announced recently, the nominations for the award are:
Alien Isolation, written by Dan Abnett, Dion Lay, and Will Porter
Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry, written by lead scriptwriter Jill Murray, scriptwriter Melissa MacCoubrey, and story by Jill Murray, Hugo Giard, and Wesley Pincombe.
Assassin's Creed: Unity, written by Alexandre Amancio, Sylvain Bernard, and Travis Stout, with scriptwriting by Alexandre Amancio, Travis Stout, Russell Lees, Darby McDevitt, Ceri Young, and additional scriptwriting by Jeffrey Yohalem.
The Last of Us: Left Behind, written by Neil Druckmann.
Wow. Assassin's Creed Unity had a lot of writers.
There is no world where The Last of Us: Left Behind doesn't win that category. The Assassin's Creed Unity story was pretty forgettable as the series goes and Alien: Isolation rarely rose above 'get off Sevastopol' for 25 hours.
It is great that the WGA do recognize writing in video games. I just wish they found a better way of garnering a selection pool.