The 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards, the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, will honor Peter Molyneux, co-founder of Bullfrog Productions and founder of Lionhead Studios, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the art and science of games.
Along the way, the organizers have also revealed the return of Tim Schafer, the LucasArts veteran and founder of Double Fine Productions (Brutal Legend), as host of the March 2nd ceremony during the 2011 Game Developers Conference, which is being streamed live online by GameSpot.com, this year’s official GDCA media partner.
This news comes shortly following the announcement of this year’s Choice Awards finalists, led by games including Limbo, Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2.
As a passionate creator of video games for more than 25 years and counting, and one of the creators of the ‘god game’ genre, Peter Molyneux exemplifies the principles of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes “the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of game development and games as a whole.”
While at Bullfrog Productions, which he co-founded in Guildford, England in 1987, Molyneux helped to create a string of seminal, innovative ‘Britsoft’ titles, including beloved games such as Theme Park, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper.
His time at Bullfrog is particularly known for classic ‘god game’ progenitor Populous, which Molyneux will also be talking about as part of a special to-be-announced GDC 2011 lecture series.
After leaving Bullfrog Productions in 1997, when it was owned by Electronic Arts, Molyneux went on to form Lionhead Studios. The developer created notable PC franchises including Black & White before devising the acclaimed, choice-laden Fable RPG franchise and being acquired by Microsoft in 2006.
The Lifetime Achievement recipient is chosen by the elite Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes game industry notables such as Doug Lombardi (Valve), Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Metaplace), Julien Merceron (Square Enix), John Vechey (PopCap), and Clint Hocking (LucasArts).
“Peter is a remarkable asset to the games industry, and truly embodies everything that the Lifetime Achievement Award represents,” said Meggan Scavio, event director of GDC. “We’re proud to honor someone who has had such a profound impact on the industry, through his boundless enthusiasm and profound talent in creating games about choice and interactivity that the entire world loves to play.”
Organizers have also revealed the triumphant return of Tim Schafer as the host of the 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards. As a veteran game designer and founder of Double Fine Productions, the studio that created Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, Schafer previously hosted the Choice Awards to much acclaim (and frequent fits of giggling) in 2007 and 2009.
Prior to Double Fine, Tim spent a number of years at LucasArts, where he was responsible for several award-winning adventure games, including Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, also co-designing Day of the Tentacle, and working on the seminal The Secret of Monkey Island 1 & 2. His onstage antics will be once again be ably aided by video game collective Mega64, who are providing several exclusive new video segments for the Awards.
The 2011 Choice Awards, produced in association with the Game Developers Conference and presented by Gamasutra.com and Game Developer Magazine, will take place on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center and is open to all Game Developers Conference attendees.
As is customary, this year’s show is held immediately following the Independent Games Festival Awards, and for the second year running, those not attending GDC can watch both sets of awards show live online via GameSpot.com, the official streaming media partner to the GDCAs.
For more information about the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, check out its official website – and for information about the 2011 Game Developers Conference, for which early registration ends on January 24th, please visit the official GDC website.