Mental health game is serial bafta winner


'Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice', which explores a character’s struggle with mental health issues, picked up multiple trophies at the BAFTA Games Awards including wins for Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, British Game and Game Beyond Entertainment. In addition, Melina Juergens won in the Performer category for her role as Senua.


The game is the work of Ninja Theory, which is headquartered in Cambridge. Formed in 2004 by four partners, including current Directors Nina Kristensen (Chief Development Director), Tameem Antoniades (Chief Creative Director) and Jez San OBE (Non-Executive Director), the company strives to combine the highest production values with pioneering design and technology.

Inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, Hellblade features Senua, a Pict warrior who must make her way to Helheim by defeating otherworldly entities and facing their challenges to rescue the soul of her dead lover.

Senua suffers from the condition of pyschosis but believes it to be a curse. She is also haunted by voices in her head known as "Furies", and memories from her past. The developers worked closely with neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people suffering from the condition.

Voice acting is an integral part of the game, while its scenes combine performance capture by Melina Juergens, and live action performances by other actors

Hellblade was a commercial success and was well received by critics. It was the best selling game on the PlayStation Store in Europe during the the month of its release. To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2017, Ninja Theory donated all profit made from the sales of Hellblade on that day to Rethink Mental Illness.

Ninja Theory has worked with collaborators from the creative industries including Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Hobbit), Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later), Nitin Sawhney (BBC’s Human Planet), Noisia (Split The Atom) and Combichrist (Making Monsters). As well as partnering with talent from the world of music, literature and film, Ninja Theory was also an early adopter of the use of Performance Capture in video games.

'What Remains of Edith Finch', the second game from BAFTA-winning developer Giant Sparrow Studios, won the Best Game. 

'Super Mario Odyssey', the 3D platform game from Nintendo, won Game Design and Family.

Another eight games were winners on the night. The hand-drawn story puzzle game, Gorogoa, won Debut Game.

'Overwatch' won Evolving Game. 'Golf Clash', the real-time multiplayer game, won Mobile Game.

'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild', the action-adventure game, won the BAFTA for Game Innovation.

The role-playing game 'Divinity: Original Sin 2' won in Multiplayer.

'Cuphead', the run-and-gun indie game, won in Music.

'Night in the Woods', the adventure game focusing on exploration, story and character, won the BAFTA for Narrative.

The action role-playing game, 'Horizon Zero Dawn', won for Original Property.

The Fellowship was presented to Tim Schafer in recognition of his outstanding creative contribution to the industry and for career in game design.



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