Markus Persson, aka Notch, aka the guy who created Minecraft, will be presented with a Pioneer Award at this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards. Tracy Fullerton, a leading educational figure at the University of California, will also receive an Ambassador Award at the same ceremony.
Notch’s Pioneer Award is one which celebrates “those individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history - paving the way for the myriads who followed them."
I suppose Minecraft fits that bill. I mean, Microsoft certainly felt it was worth a few quid when they forked over $2.4 billion to take the game off Persson’s company Mojang’s hands in a record-breaking deal back in 2014.
Although less of a household name, Fullerton is associate professor and director of the USC Games program whose Ambassador Award recognises how her input has helped the games industry “advance to a better place through advocacy or action.” Over the years, she’s helped create games like fl0w, Cloud, The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom and The Night Journey.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Fallout director Todd Howard will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Game Developers Choice Awards too. The awards will be held on March 16 during GDC 2016.