The Game Developers Choice Awards have revealed two new recipients for special awards to be presented at the 2022 ceremony. The first of two names for the 22nd annual event will be Steven Spohn, who served as senior director of development for the charity AbleGamers, as he will receive the Ambassador award. Meanwhile, the second name is Yuji Horiicreator of the dragon quest series, which will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 23 at GDC and will be streamed live on Twitch for everyone to experience. Here’s some additional information about the two men in 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 senior director of development for the charity AbleGamers. Featured on CNN, NBC and other mainstream media as an expert in assistive technology and gaming accessibility, Spohn champions the idea that people with disabilities use the video game space as a way to overcome the social isolation. Spohn and the charity AbleGamers have advanced inclusive industry efforts by training and consulting studios while connecting them directly with gamers who can share their personal experiences.
Yuji Horii will receive 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 competition sponsored by Enix (now Square Enix), which led to his work with the editor that lasts to this day. The seminal dragon quest The 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 Agereleased in 2021.
“The video game industry has been forever impacted by the work of Steven Spohn on accessibility and Yuji Horii on design,” said Katie Stern, who oversees the GDC as vice president of entertainment media at Informa Tech. “They have both inspired creators and gamers and we look forward to honoring them at the Game Developers Choice Awards, where we are thrilled to have the opportunity to once again celebrate the development community together in person.”