The Game Developers Choice Awards have revealed two new recipients for special awards to be given out during the 2022 ceremony. The first of the two names for the 22nd annual event will be Steven Spohn, who has been the Senior Director of Development of the AbleGamers charity, as he will receive the Ambassador Award. Meanwhile, the second name is Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest series, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 23rd at GDC, and will be broadcast live on Twitch for everyone to check out. Here's some added info on both men from today's announcement.
The Ambassador Award will be presented to Steven Spohn for his work advocating for accessibility in video games as a streamer, award-winning author and the Senior Director of Development of the AbleGamers charity. Featured on CNN, NBC and other mainstream news outlets as an assistive technology and game accessibility expert, Spohn champions for people with disabilities to use the video game space as a means of defeating social isolation. Spohn and the AbleGamers charity have pushed the inclusive efforts of the industry forward by training and consulting studios while connecting them directly with players who can share their personal experiences.
Yuji Horii will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his groundbreaking work as the creator of the beloved Dragon Quest series, which has influenced and inspired role-playing game design since the release of Dragon Quest in 1986. Horii began his professional career as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines before winning a game programming contest sponsored by Enix (now Square Enix), which led to his work with the publisher that lasts to this day. The seminal Dragon Quest series has spanned over 35 years and sold over 76 million units, with the most recent game in the series, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, released in 2021.
"The video game industry has been forever impacted by the work of both Steven Spohn in accessibility and Yuji Horii in design," said Katie Stern, who oversees the GDC as VP of Entertainment Media at Informa Tech. "They have both inspired creators and players alike and we look forward to honoring them at the Game Developers Choice Awards, where we are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate the development community together in-person once again."