As part of its Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference and Awards this past Friday night, Billboard gave its Game Developer of the Year distinction to Candian studio BioWare. This marks the first year of the conference and awards show, which took place in Los Angeles on November 4 and 5. Billboard bequeathed awards in 30 categories under the mantra of "honoring innovation, entrepreneurship, and brand development in digital entertainment."BioWare beat out other nominees, including Maxis, Pandemic Studios, and Ubisoft Montreal, thanks largely in part to the success of titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights (and its expansions). BioWare currently has two titles in production: the Chinese mythology-inspired Xbox role-playing game Jade Empire, due in March of 2005, and the PC RPG Dragon Age, which has no set release date yet. BioWare previously won developer of the year awards from the television show Electric Playground in 2002 and from the Web site Daily Radar in 2000.