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Apex Legends studio Respawn Entertainment makes history with Oscar win

Video games made history at last night’s Oscars thanks to Respawn Entertainment. The Apex Legends developer won Best Documentary Short for Colette, earning it the distinction of being the first video game studio to score an Oscar.

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards took place on Sunday, April 25. The eventful broadcast drew a lot of conversation from viewers who criticized everything from its clipless format to its head-scratching finale. Amid all that chaos, the video game industry had a surprisingly significant night.

Colette, produced by Respawn Entertainment and Oculus Studios, originally appeared within the Oculus VR game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Directed by Anthony Giacchino, the film follows a French Resistance fighter who returns to Germany for the first time since World War II. While the film is viewable in VR, it received a proper theatrical run ahead of the game’s release.

Colette: The French resistance fighter confronting fascism - Oscars 2021 Short Documentary Winner

Respawn Creative Director Peter Hirschmann celebrated the win, saying he hopes it’ll be the first of many for the gaming industry.

“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,” said  Hirschmann. “As we continue to take steps toward 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.”

It isn’t just the first time a video game studio has won an Oscar; it was also the first time one had been nominated at all.

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