Markus “Notch” Persson and Tracy Fullerton will be presented with tokens of the industry’s regard at GDC this year.
Persson will receive the Pioneer award for the creation of Minecraft. Mojang’s flagship was arguably responsible for the indie revolution and certainly popularised early access releases, as well as proving hugely influential on the survival, crafting and sandbox genres. Minecraft was the first game to score multiple wins at the GDC Awards and IGF Awards back in 2011, and the sandbox has gone on to sell over 70 million copies. Microsoft bought out Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
The Ambassador award will be presented to Fullerton, whose work in design and education at research centre Game Innovation Lab has had far-reaching effects. A veteran of Microsoft, Sony and MTV, Fullerton is now an associate professor and director of the University of Southern California (USC) Games program, and played a role in the creation of influential indie titles such as Cloud, fl0w, Darfur is Dying, the Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and Night Journey.
The 16th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards will be held on March 16. Mega 64 and the Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’ team will contribute videos to the ceremony, which will be livestreamed via Twitch.
GDC 2016 runs March 14 through 18.