Rise of the Tomb Raider beats The Witcher 3 to snag the Writers Guild Award

2 min read


The writing in video games have become increasingly important. Obviously, in games where there’s any sort of narrative thread, the better the writing, the more impactful the game will be on its audience.

As the medium has matured, the need for better writing in games have becoming exceedingly obvious to the people who play games (but unfortunately, sometimes not all that obvious to the companies making games). The people who write games well should be awarded accolades befitting of their craft. And they are.

According to the Writers Guild of America, Rise of the Tomb Raider was the best-written game release in 2015. The whole thing was judged by the Videogame Writers Caucus, with Rise of the Tomb Raider beating out Pillars of Eternity, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and the winner of just about every other gaming award in existence, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Congratulations then, are in order for Rise of the Tomb Raider’s lead Narrative Designer John Stafford, Narrative Designer Cameron Suey, Lead Writer Rhianna Pratchett and additional writer Philip Gelatt.

As a reminder, the WGA judges the scripts, not the games themselves – and they found Rise of the Tomb Raider to feature the best, most emotive and gripping writing. Second to that, the reason your other favourite game released in 2015 isn’t on the list is because any games up for consideration must have had their scripts submitted featuring on-screen writing credits by writers who were members, or who had applied to become members.

Read  Here are the winners of this year’s Esports Industry Awards

Last Updated: February 15, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Then it must be really, really good. Because W3 had some fantastically well written stories.

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      I’m just wondering though. If you consider the sheer amount of stories (and really good ones) in Witcher 3. That’s quite something to be competing with.

      • Quality over quantity is my motto.

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          Witcher 3 is quantity multiplied by quality. 😀

          • No … its story is barely above average. 2 was better and 1 was amazing.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Bloody Baron story though.
            That’s better than Witcher 2 story for me.

          • Yeah Bloody Baron was amazing but it is diluted by the rest of the stories.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            I just don’t want to give Tomb Raider any credit ever because it was a timed exclusive, I actually have no problem with it having a better story.

          • As long as it was not a windows store PC game I have no issues with it as at the time I was swamped with games and Tomb Raider would have sat on the back burner.

            Also it was a very well made port so no complaints there cause MK and Batman had same day releases and look how that turned out.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            But it’s the principle – said in an old man’s voice (much like Trevor’s)

          • Meh. Mass Effect 1 was a timed exclusive to the Xbox and it is still a better PC game. 🙂

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            How can you speak… if you have no mouth?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That story was amazing.

            Heart of Stone’s story is also really good when you see all the pieces coming together – also quite tragic.

          • That wedding scene, BWAHAHAAH

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That was a good laugh. His speech at the end!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            The Bloody Baron’s saga gave me chills, it was that brilliant!

          • Hammersteyn

            Same here. I honestly thought I was helping 🙁

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            No good deed goes unpunished!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Now we all know for next time, screw those kids.

    • Story was absolutely amazing. Plot were a bit contrived but lets face it. Witcher 3 has at least 5 contrived plots on the first hour of play.

    • Pharoah X

      It is good and really worth the purchase.

  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

    Yea, but does it have griffons?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Technically, neither does W3.

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        Damn you! 😛

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Actually it’s about ethics in spelling the names of mythical creatures correctly.

          • Yeah cause Vampyre is so much better than Vampire. 😛

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Well, Vampyre, technically, is a mortal Vampire.

          • Depends who you ask.

            Cause we could always go into the Dragon vs Elder Wyrm thing. 🙂

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Hmm. Point made.

          • Obi Wan always made a point.

            “Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

          • VampyreSquirrel


          • Captain JJ ‘saurus


          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            You’re biased. And a squirrel.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Rich, coming from an Alien.

          • Pariah
          • miaau

            so, then, where are the legal aliens?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            According to Sting, in New York.

          • miaau

            True, true. Near Bourbon street.

          • VampyreSquirrel

            At least I’m from EARTH!!!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the plural of “Vampyre” is “Vampyrez”.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Damn you ethically!

  • Ryanza

    You must understand, when it comes to writing, story, dialog, Pillars of Eternity and Witcher 3, is the best of 2015. I highly doubt that Tomb Raider’s writing is that good.

    Boobs, ass, and guns, is all we want from Tomb Raider games. So the writers guild of america is just blowing smoke up their pens.


    Don’t Support DRM. Pillars of Eternity and Witcher 3 had DRM-Free versions.

    • Played all those games and can honestly say you are wrong in this particular instance. Hell X-Com has a better story than pillars.

      • Ryanza

        Did you just mention xcom. Aliens plus repeat. Repeat the alien agenda gameplay. There are just some games I like to play with cool dialog and writing and xcom’s boring alien story is not going to be one of them.

        • X-Com 2 has an amazing twist to the whole alien thing. Can’t really say much but be sure it is not nearly as cut and paste as you may think.

      • Spy Master Tokashi

        tbh, you are wrong… your opinion does not matter, so be gone!

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      Not an Angelina fan… so if that’s the case, bring on the DRM.

      • Hammersteyn

        Angelina? Where? In the gif?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Dynamic Rack Magnification?

        • Pariah

          Those are just socks dude.

    • I love how you have changed that to ‘versions’ LOL

    • Darren Peach

      Have you ever mailed someone in a work related topic and mistakenly typed ” don’t support drm ” ?

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    I’ll only know whether Rise of Tomb Raider is as good as they say it is when I pick up a PS4 copy (from a bargain bin) in 2017. Until then, Witcher 3 rules supreme!

  • Ryanza

    Is that award a “time exclusive” award. I’m sure The Witcher 3 will win the award months from now.

  • Lars Anderson

    Better than Witcher 3? Lol…no way.

  • Ghost In The Rift

    Meh American Mentality, was never a fan of Lara’s stories, plus Yennefer over Lara ANY DAY!!!!!

  • Mmm…

  • Must be good! Though I am a little tired of Lara.

  • Truth Hurts!

    They must all be high or something. While TW3’s story was great in most places, Rise’s story almost put me to sleep it was so boring. The ending was so predictable and cliche ridden it should have had “to be continued” written at the end.
    Time to wait for the reboot’s reboot.

  • Darren Peach

    I wonder if Tomb Raider was a easy pick because the franchise is somewhat mainstream ? I personally think The Witcher 3 had a far more compelling narrative and tone.

  • Jonah Cash

    I love Rise of the Tomb Raider. Played about 6 hours yesterday alone…

  • oVg

    How does that work? The Witcher 3 had over 50hours worth of recorded dialogue.

  • Krabby Paddy

    Have to say that this might raise the expectations too high, for those that haven’t played Rise of the Tomb Raider yet. Now I think it is a great game that I’m enjoying (if you like the 2013 game you’ll enjoy this one), but the story isn’t THAT amazing and I personally wouldn’t rate the story writing better than The Witcher 3.

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