Respawn Entertainment Becomes First Video Game Company to Win an Oscar
Respawn Entertainment has become the first video game company ever to win an Oscar. They won in the Best Documentary Short category for their work on the short Colette in association with Oculus Studios at the 93rd Academy Awards. This was the first time a video game company has been nominated for an Oscar.
Mcedal of Honor Documentary Marks Major Comeback for Franchise
The short was directed by Anthony Giacchino and originally a part of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a VR game that put players in a soldier’s boots during World War II. The short itself follows a 90-year-old former French Resistance fighter who travels to Germany for the first time after World War II. The documentary was made available separately from the game through the Guardian late last year.
“We could not be more proud of Anthony Giacchino and the team’s work in bringing Colette’s story to life as part of Medal of Honor, a video game franchise rooted in history and the retelling of veterans’ stories to generations for years to come,” said Peter Hirschmann, Respawn Entertainment’s creative director. “As we continue to take steps towards further legitimizing the creativity and passion of those in the games industry, we hope this is the first of many Oscars for video game companies who have shown time and time again how powerful and impactful storytelling through this interactive medium can be.”
The, who had refused to step foot in the country since World War II. All of that changed when a young history student named Lucie entered her life and encouraged her to visit the concentration camp where Nazis killed her brother. The short won multiple awards as it was also released at various film festivals, including Oscar-qualifying wins at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and St. Louis International Film Festival.
Medal of Honor has somewhat been an inactive franchise for Electronic Arts before this game was released. It was well known in the early PlayStation and PS2 eras for being one of the better military shooters and was always very story-driven, often being compared to shows like Band of Brothers for its storytelling. This Oscar win feels very much like a capstone on an impressive legacy. Electronic Arts have not yet announced plans for the franchise. Unlike its younger brother Call of Duty, the game never did pick up steam as a multiplayer release, and with its focus on a single-player story with Call of Duty getting its campaign, it simply could not keep up. However, with the arrival of virtual reality devices that are increasingly becoming more affordable, perhaps it’s time to get back to some single-player experiences that tell unique stories once again.
Suppose this win for Respawn Entertainment at the Oscars is any indication. In that case, it could spark a renewed interest in deep storytelling at various studios, who might want to give this category their efforts over the coming years.