Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney to be Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards
Organizers of the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, will recognize Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games and creator of ZZT, Unreal and Unreal Engine, with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tim will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 6:30pm PST at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2017 Game Developers Conference, and in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF). The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2017 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/gdc .
Tim founded Potomac Computer Systems, which became known as Epic MegaGames a year later, in 1991. The release of his first game, ZZT, led to an explosion of user-created worlds. ZZT has become so beloved as a game/application that it recently led to a full-length book dissection – in the Boss Fight Books series - of the games and culture it created. Epic MegaGames also released titles such as Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball and Tyrian in the ‘90s as a leader in the PC shareware space.
While serving as the founder and CEO of a renamed Epic, Tim was the main architect of the first-generation Unreal Engine. Unreal was originally created for the 1998 PC game Unreal, but became the basis for a slew of acclaimed games, initially in the Unreal franchise and increasingly outside of it in licensed form – via games such as the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, and the Batman: Arkham series.
Tim’s work to make Unreal Engine extensible via UnrealScript, a spiritual successor to his ZZT-object-oriented scripting language for ZZT and a simple way for non-coders to get complex creations made easily, led to extensive and creative player modding of games, one of the earliest blossomings of user-generated content.
But it also led to easier adaptations of the engine – which has now had four major iterations - to other games, including Epic’s own titles such as Gears of War, Paragon and Fortnite, as well as notable independently created games such as Rocket League, Abzû, Astroneer and ARK: Survival Evolved. The engine is now being adapted by non-game development teams across the automotive, aviation, architecture, VR/AR, complex data visualization and film sectors.
Tim joins the roster of previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients which includes Todd Howard, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, Sid Meier, Ken Kutaragi, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Peter Molyneux, among others.
Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes notable game industry leaders such as Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Doug Lombardi (Valve), Angie Smets (Guerrilla Games), Amir Rao (Supergiant Games) and Jade Raymond (Electronic Arts).
For more information about the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/.