Game Developers Choice Awards Recipients Named

Grand Theft Auto III, Yuji Naka Take Top Honors

SAN JOSE, CA - March 22, 2002 - The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has announced the recipients of the 2nd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, game development's highest honors. The awards were presented last night during a ceremony at the San Jose Civic Auditorium during this year's annual Game Developers Conference (GDC).

The celebration honors innovation as well as technical and artistic achievement in interactive entertainment. The nominations were open to all game developers, ensuring a true reflection of development community opinion.

"The Game Developers Choice Awards are a special moment during the year when we pause to honor fellow developers who create exceptional and innovative games," said Jason Della Rocca, program director of the IGDA. "Recipients of these accolades know they are being recognized by their peers and there is no greater honor than that."

The 2nd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards recipients are:

Game of the Year
Grand Theft Auto III (DMA Design/Rockstar Games)

Rookie Studio of the Year
Bohemia Interactive Studio for Operation Flashpoint

Original Game Character of the Year
Daxter from Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

Excellence in Audio
Marty O'Donnell & team for sound effects in Halo: Combat Evolved

Excellence in Game Design
GTA3 team for game play in Grand Theft Auto III

Excellence in Level Design
Fumito Ueda & team for level design in Ico

Excellence in Programming
Richard Evans for artificial intelligence in Black & White

Excellence in Visual Arts
Fumito Ueda & team for art direction in Ico

Game Innovation Spotlights
Black & White (Lionhead Studios)
Grand Theft Auto III (DMA Design/Rockstar Games)
Ico (Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.)
Majestic (Electronic Arts)
Rez (United Game Artists)

Three special honors, selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards advisory board, were presented at the awards ceremony:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Yuji Naka, president and CEO of Sega's SONICTEAM, for the innovative and award-winning work he has produced during his career, including the creation of SEGA® mascot, Sonic The Hedgehog(TM).

First Penguin Award
Hubert Chardot, for his risk-taking work on Alone in the Dark, a game that started the "survival-horror" genre.

IGDA Award for Community Contribution
Jeff Lander, for his writings on game development, community building efforts and student outreach.

More information on the awards and recipients can be found at

About the IGDA
The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit association established by game developers to foster the creation of a worldwide game development community. The IGDA's mission is to build a community of game developers, which leverages the expertise of its members for the betterment of the industry and the development of the art form. For more information on IGDA, please visit or e-mail

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