Keith Blume is out as Chairperson of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design, which administers the Origins Awards, and John Ward, Executive Director of GAMA, has taken the role for the 2013 Awards. Blume, the Managing Director at FRED Distribution, had moved into the position earlier this year in the midst of controversy over the 2012 Origins Awards (see "WizKids Titles Pulled from Origins Ballot").
The Academy and Board are reviewing the internal processes for the Awards, according to the announcement. Problems with the distribution of nominated products to the judges, which was being handled for the first time by FRED Distribution instead of the GAMA staff, had caused WizKids titles to be pulled from the ballot for the 2012 awards.
"I think that many of us saw that moving the administrative process away from our volunteer Academy and Board members and into the hands of the full time staff will not only make us more efficient, but will remove any perceptions of bias," Blume said of his replacement by Ward.
As a result of the last minute change in administration of the awards, the deadline for submissions is being extended to December 15th.
The Origins Awards will be announced on June 15th, 2013, at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio.