Organisers have announced that next year’s video games BAFTAs will feature awards for four new categories:  Debut Game, Online – Browser, Online – Multiplayer and Performer.

The Debut Game award will honour the best game from a studio releasing its very first title in 2011 while the Performer award will recognise excellence in performance featured in a game.

BAFTA say continuing advances in online gaming has led it to recognise them with separate ‘Online’ categories.

The Online – Browser award will be awarded for the best online experience and include social, casual and browser games while Online – Multiplayer will be awarded to the best online multiplayer games experience.

Ray Maguire, Chairman of BAFTA’s Video Games Committee, said: “BAFTA annually reviews its Awards categories to ensure they remain relevant and valued within the industry.

“Over the last year, we have witnessed the increased sophistication and popularity of online gaming, and so our two new Online categories will ensure the scope of creative work in this area is being properly recognised.

“We are equally delighted to begin recognising the performance aspect within games, as we do for film and television, which further demonstrates the common ground between the industries.  Debut Game is another important addition this year, which reflects the changing game-development landscape and the rise of new, independent studios.”

The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards will take place on Friday 16 March 2012 at the London Hilton on Park Lane and will be hosted by comedian and gamer Dara O’Briain.

Nominations will be announced on Thursday 16 February.