The past five years have seen a massive increase in entries, which is fantastic. In fact, we've received over a thousand entries over the past few years! What's not so great is the manner in which people have entered. Corrupt files, poorly entered information, etc. have all been increasing along with that number.
We want people to take pride in their entry as each entry is played by all judges to get a fair review. If the entry can't be played for reason of a corrupt file, poorly entered information we need to have, or whatever prevents us from giving the title its fair time, we then try to track it down and contact the person entering. So not only are judges playing and reviewing every game entered once entry closes through all of December, but the SXSW Gaming team is constantly emailing and having to stop this process due to the entry not being complete.
With a nominal one-time fee, we hope that more care is given to the entry which will ultimately improve the quality of the SXSW Gaming Awards.