12 April 2024

SpecialEffect receive BAFTA Special Award

SpecialEffect were awarded a BAFTA Special Award at the 20th BAFTA Games Awards on Thursday 11 April 2024. The award, which recognises outstanding contributions to games, film and television, is one of the highest accolades bestowed by BAFTA.

SpecialEffect Founder and CEO Dr Mick Donegan received the award from Sir Ian Livingstone.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Donegan said, “I’d like to thank all of those remarkable people in the games industry, many of whom are here tonight, who’ve supported, collaborated and shared a few drinks with us over the years. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for welcoming SpecialEffect, both as colleagues and friends. Together we’re making a real difference to the quality of life of so many disabled people all over the world by opening the door to the magical world of video games to them. There is so much more to do, but in partnership with yourselves, I’m sure that the best is yet to come.”

In a press release he added “With a background in special education, I realised how much people with severe physical disabilities were missing out by not being able to play. I started SpecialEffect not only to help individuals to play video games but also to collaborate with the games industry to make their games more accessible ‘at source’. Since then, we have been privileged to be invited to share our ideas with more and more developers all over the world. Now, 17 years since SpecialEffect began, it’s an absolute honour for SpecialEffect’s work to be recognised by BAFTA.”

Emma Baehr, BAFTA executive director of awards and content, said “SpecialEffect’s work is essential to the games world and is hugely deserving of a BAFTA Special Award. Their innovative and supportive approach to making games accessible drives progress within the industry, collaborating with developers and studios on new technologies to make games within reach to more people. We look forward to honouring their contribution to games at the ceremony on Thursday 11 April.”

Previous Special Award recipients honoured for their work across games, film and television include June Givanni, David Olusoga, Alison Barnett, Nicky Sargent & Vikki Dunn, Idris Elba, Nikki Lilly, Epic Games, Nicola Shindler, Emma Thomas, Nolan North, John Motson, Game of Thrones, Riot Games, Brenda Romero, Amy Hennig, Sam House, and Leslie Benzies.

A huge thank you to Ian, BAFTA, and everyone who has supported our work over the years – and the amazing gamers that we’ve had the privilege to help.

Highlights of this acceptance speech and the Awards Ceremony itself can be seen on the BAFTA YouTube channel.