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Respawn just became first Oscar-winning video game developer: ‘We could not be more proud’

Jonathan Lee
·2-min read

Respawn Entertainment is now the very first video game company to win an Oscar.

The developer is best known as the company behind Apex Legends, Titanfall and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Now it is an Academy Award-winning studio, an honor it shares with Oculus Studio for its joint development of Colette.

Colette is a short documentary about Colette Marin-Catherine, one of the few living members of the French Resistance during World War II. The doc followed the 90-year-old veteran as she returned to Germany for the first time since the war to visit the concentration camp where her brother was killed.

The film won Best Documentary Short at the 93rd Academy Awards.

“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,” Peter Hirschmann, Creative Director at Respawn Entertainment, said in an Electronic Arts press release. “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.” 

Respawn’s Oscar win is a landmark moment for the video game industry as a whole. Many games such as The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Alien: Isolation have been described as having the same level of acting, writing and production values as Hollywood films.

In this case, two studios known traditionally for video games have created a moving portrait of a veteran’s life which delved into war, tragedy, connecting with the past and the troubling resurgence of fascism around the world.

Colette is distributed by The Guardian and can be watched for free on YouTube.

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If you liked this piece, check out the leaks about Call of Duty Vanguard, which is rumored to be an alternate history World War II game.

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