Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski (pictured), one of the key visionaries behind the Unreal and Gears of War games, will take the stage during the 2012 Game Developers Conference to host the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.
In addition, Pocketwatch Games' Andy Schatz, creator of 2010 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner Monaco will return for his fourth stint as host of the Independent Games Festival awards, now celebrating their 14th edition.
The two award ceremonies will take place at 6:30 PM on the evening of Wednesday, March 7th during GDC 2012 in San Francisco. For the third consecutive year, enthusiast video game site GameSpot will exclusively live stream both award shows via its official site, YouTube, and other streaming channels.
Once again, the Independent Games Festival will return to GDC to encourage the rise of independent game development and to recognize the best independent game titles. The 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards recognizes the creativity, artistry and technical genius of leading industry professionals and games released in 2011.
As design director at Epic Games, Cliff Bleszinski has been a key visionary behind the award-winning, multimillion-selling Unreal series, as well as Gears of War, which has become a billion dollar franchise. The series' original title received top honors at the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards, and was crowned the winner of the Best Game, Best Technology and Best Visual Arts categories.
Now, he continues to lend his creative expertise to Epic's upcoming projects for PC, mobile, and console titles. Easily one of the most recognizable faces in the business, Bleszinski gained instant fame as a teen by shipping his first commercial game, Jazz Jackrabbit, before graduating high school. The game became a bestseller and remains a cult classic amongst gamers.
Andy Schatz founded Pocketwatch games in 2004, and is now a leader in the world of indie games. Pocketwatch Games released the ecological sim games Venture Africa (which was nominated for the Grand Prize in the 2006 IGF) and Venture Arctic. Schatz later developed the co-op stealth game Monaco which won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Design awards in the 2010 IGF. Previously, Schatz presented the IGF awards in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
"Cliff and Andy both have huge personalities and fantastic stage presence. We're excited for GDC attendees to see these two work their charm while celebrating this amazing industry," said Meggan Scavio, general manager of GDC.
As is customary, this year's Choice Awards will be held immediately following the Independent Games Festival Awards, and for the third year running, those not attending GDC can watch both sets of awards show live online via GameSpot and its associated livestreaming media partners, as official partner to the GDCAs and IGF.
More information about either the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards or the 14th annual Independent Games Festival is available at their respective websites.
To stay on top of all the latest news about GDC 2012 at large, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.