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Organisers of this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards have announced the recipients of the Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement awards.

The Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) recognise the achievement of the game development community, and although the winners of the main awards – check out the full list of nominees here – are not revealed until the ceremony in March, the recipients of Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement awards have now been confirmed.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Double Fine founder, Tim Schafer. Schafer has been part of the games industry for three decades, working on beloved Lucasarts adventure games such as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. In 2000 he founded Double Fine Productions, and has overseen production on over 30 titles, including PsychonautsBrutal Legend, and Broken Age. Schafer joins an esteemed collection of previous winners, including Tim Sweeney, Shigeru Miyamoto, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, and Peter Molyneux, among many others.

The Pioneer Award will be presented to industry legend, Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari. Bushnell is now seen as one of the fathers of video games, with PongBreakout, and the Atari 2600 home console, all developed under his guidance.

Update: 01/31/2018: Glixel reports that Nolan Bushnell’s award is being re-examined following concerns over alleged sexist behaviour.

This year’s Ambassador Award goes to Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail. The award recognises the contribution of individuals who help the medium of games advance through advocacy or action. Anyone who has seen Ismail speak will be familiar with his devotion to the democratisation of game development, and his free tools – such as presskit() – have been widely adopted by the indie development community.

Katie Stern, general manager of GDC, said in a press statement:

“Tim, Rami and Nolan have each given so much to the video game industry through their creative passions, advocacy and leadership, it’s only fitting that they are each recognized for their unique contributions to making games and game development accessible, open and fun for everyone. Each has worked hard to become leaders in their fields, and serve as an example of how developers who pour their passions into their projects can create something really wonderful. This is a model for all GDC attendees to aspire to.”

The 2018 GDC Awards will be presented by Robin Hunicke, and held during the Game Developers Conference in March. Find out more at the GDC website.

Image: GiantBomb

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