The Game Developers Choice Awards is a ceremony held each year for game makers to honor their own, but this year's show may as well be a concert. The show's organizers announced the host of the event today as well as this year's recipients of the Pioneer and Ambassador Awards, all of whom reside comfortably at the intersection of games and music.
This year's Pioneer Award winners are Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, cofounders of the musically inclined development studio Harmonix. Rigopulos and Egozy have spent more than a decade making acclaimed rhythm games such as Amplitude and Frequency, but are best known for creating the Guitar Hero series, as well as its biggest competitor, Rock Band.
According to GDC organizer Think Services, the Pioneer Award "celebrates those individuals responsible for developing a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history, paving the way for the many developers who followed them."
The musical ties are even stronger for this year's Ambassador Award recipient, Tommy Tallarico. One of the first game music composers to gain any measure of recognition, Tallarico was originally known for scoring such 16-bit efforts as the Genesis action games Aladdin and Global Gladiators, and the multiplatform Earthworm Jim. These days, Tallarico is also known as the cofounder of Video Games Live, a touring concert series that features orchestral renditions of classic gaming anthems.
The purpose of the award is to honor "an individual who has helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games to help further the art."
Double Fine founder Tim Schafer will reprise his role as the host of the Game Developers Choice Awards. To do so, he'll have to take a break from developing his own music-tinted game, the multiplatform Brutal Legend. Set for release through the EA Partners program, Brutal Legend tells the story of a rock roadie's journey to hell.
The Game Developers Choice Awards will be doled out on March 25 in San Francisco as part of this year's Game Developers Conference.