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Metroid Prime Takes Top Honors At Game Developers Choice Awards

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) named recipients of the Game Developers Choice Awards last night at the 3rd annual ceremony during the Game Developers Conference.

Game Developer, Staff

March 7, 2003

3 Min Read

The nominees and winners of the Choice Awards are selected by the community of game developers themselves -- peers recognizing each other for their accomplishments. The big winner in the ceremony was Retro Studios' Metroid Prime, which was presented with the "Game of the Year" award. Retro also won the "Rookie Studio of the Year" award, which is presented to outstanding comapanies who released their first major title during the calendar year. There were two other highlights to the evening. The first was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to the original inventor of the Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi of Nintendo. Last year's LAA winner, Sega's Yuji Naka, presented the award posthumously to Yokoi, who died a few years ago in a traffic accident in Japan. Accepting the award for Yokoi was his family -- a very emotional moment that received a standing ovation from the audience. The other highlight of the evening was the presentation of the "First Penguin Award", which goes to people who took risks in the industry and paved the way for future game developers. (The name of the award refers to behavior by penguins in which one jumps off an ice flow in search of food -- if the penguin returns, the other penguins know that there are no predators in the water and subsequently dive in themselves.) The award this year went to the team that started Activision back in the 1980s: David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Jim Levy, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead. As the first 3rd-party development studio, Activision paved the way for other companies to develop games for other companies' game hardware platforms. The presentation to the original Activision team was prefaced by a video montage of old Activision games for the Atari 2600, and games' crude graphics (and the audience's fond memories of the games) elicited laughs; the games were quite a contrast to the game clips presented for games developed in 2002. The other winners of the evening included:

  • Original Game Character of the Year: "Sly Cooper" from SLY COOPER AND THE THIEVIUS RACCOONUS by Sucker Punch

    • Excellence in Audio: Jack Grillo, Rebecca Hanck, Erik Kraber and Yuan Liu for sound effects in MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT

    • Excellence in Game Design: Romain de Waubert de Genlis, Ola BATTLEFIELD 1942

    • Excellence in Level Design: Metroid Team for level design in METROID PRIME

    • Excellence in Programming: Mark Brockington, Scott Greig, Jason Knipe, Don Moar and Don Yakielashek for network programming in NEVERWINTER NIGHTS. Of note, the team said that they hoped that nobody had actually viewed the source code of the game prior to deciding to give them the award, which elicited laughs from the crowd.

    • Excellence in Visual Arts: Shinji Hashimoto and Tetsuya Nomura for art direction in KINGDOM HEARTS

    • Excellence in Writing: Clint Hocking and JT Petty for writing in TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL

    • Game Innovation Spotlights: Animal Crossing (Nintendo) Battlefield 1942 (Digital Illusions) Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (2015, Inc.) The Thing (Computer Artworks)

    • IGDA Award for Community Contribution: Doug Church, technical director, Eidos

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