The Games Manufacturer's Association made major changes to the Origins Awards categories for the 2020/2021 cycle.

GAMA received a total of 300 submissions for 2019/2020 cycle, up from 81 in 2018/2019, and has decided to split up the board game and roleplaying game categories to have multiple categories by genre.  The new category breakdown goes as follows:

  • Board Game - Family
  • Board Game - General
  • Board Game - Historical
  • Board Game - Party/Light
  • Board Game - Strategy/Heavy
  • Card Game
  • Collectible Game
  • Digital Adaptation of a Physical Game (NEW)
  • Miniatures Game
  • Miniatures Game - Historical
  • Role-Playing Game – Family/General Audience
  • Role-Playing Game – Fantasy
  • Role-Playing Game – Science Fiction
  • Game Accessory

There are now 14 categories as opposed to the 10 showcased last year (see "Origins Awards 2020 Winners Unveiled").  The single Board Game category is now split out into five different categories featuring multiple genres of board games, including a catch-all Board Game - General category.  There is no generic Best Family Game or Best Historical Game category, but instead they are now specified by genre under the categories of the Board Game category.

The other major change comes to the RPG category, which is also divided out by genre: Family/General Audience, Fantasy, and Science Fiction.  This is an interesting choice genres as well because GAMA chose two of those genres very specifically and seemed to pass over Horror RPGs for its own category, which are currently very prominent products on the market. Another interesting aspect of GAMA's splitting categories out by genres is that the Collectible Game category remained unaltered.  This category encompasses several genres of collectible games, like cards and miniatures, yet it stayed the same as a single category.