Newell named GDC Pioneer, Cerny joining DICE Hall of Fame

Valve cofounder to be honored for creating Steam at March developer conference, as Marble Madness creator is honored by Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

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February and March see the arrival of two of the more prestigious industry events of the year: the DICE Summit and the Game Developers Conference. This week, DICE show-runner the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences announced that Mark Cerny will be inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame. Think Services, which organizes GDC, also announced that Valve Software's Gabe Newell will be honored with this year's Pioneer Award.

Gabe Newell is gettin' props at the GDCA.

Cerny, who currently serves as president of game-consultant firm Cerny Games, led development on Atari's classic puzzler Marble Madness, before spending several years at Sega Japan. There, he founded and managed the Sega Technical Institute and oversaw the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Kid Chameleon. He later served as president of Universal Interactive Studios, contributing to such franchises as Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, and Spyro the Dragon.

"Mark Cerny is the closest we have come to a modern-day da Vinci," AIAS president Joseph Olin said in a statement. "What he does isn't restricted to a single aspect of game creation; he really is a Renaissance man. He is a diversely accomplished game designer, producer, programmer and technologist, fluent in Japanese and one of the foremost Western experts on the Japanese game market. … The projects that he has contributed to have been phenomenally successful, with sales of almost $2 billion dollars and over a dozen titles each exceeding 2 million units in sales."

Cerny will be presented with the award at the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards on February 18. The event will be held at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, with comedian Jay Mohr returning as this year's host.

Valve cofounder Gabe Newell will be honored with the Pioneer Award as part of the Game Developers Choice Awards. The award is given to honor "those individuals responsible for developing a vital technology or game design at a crucial juncture in video game history, paving the way for the many who followed them." Newell started Valve in 1996, after leaving software giant Microsoft.

The Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes such industry luminaries as Ben Cousins (EA DICE), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Ray Muzyka (BioWare), and Clint Hocking (Ubisoft), selected Newell due to his contribution to creating the digital distribution service Steam, which has played home to Valve's line of top-rated hits such as the Half-Life series and Portal as well as an increasing number of third-party PC games.

Newell will receive the Pioneer Award as part of the Game Developers Choice Awards at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 11.

Discussion

70 comments
Dr_Bob_UK
Dr_Bob_UK

@XanderZane If you "could care less about Steam" that means you already care about it.

GundamBlue
GundamBlue

I hate Gabe newell... i just can't even look at him...

XanderZane
XanderZane

thenephariouson Still think Gabe looks like a real life Peter Griffin. ************************************************************* I agree. He could definitely play the real life version of him. Even though I could care less about Steam, Valve has made an innovative service that caters to gamers and the games they like to play. So he does deserve an award for that. Mark Cerny has been a pioneer developers for over 20yrs. I still can remember playing Marble Madness in the arcades when I was in college. It was a simple, but innovative game at the time. The home versions weren't the best due to the controls, but they were still fun. I wonder what they are working on now.

Dante200X
Dante200X

@tidusjeff "Too bad that counts as opinion when L4D, TF2, and HL2 don't do anything to innovate compared to HL1." Haha, seriously? If you want to go that route, what game do think actually DID innovate when compared to HL1? I'm bringing up a blank.

Alter_Echo
Alter_Echo

Maybe if he sells his award he will get enough to hire more developers so his company can get more than 1 game out every decade or so. ( Obviously an exaggeration, just saying )

santinegrete
santinegrete

@tidusjeff maybe it's because the succes as a game seller, after all is that what they care about. Every bad thing (for gamers) with Steam was inspired by the piracy and how it affected the Pc games business (the system hogin' and bugs has been improved/corrected).

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Sorry, i forgot to add the point that i personally think that VALVe are the single most ingenious game developer on the planet.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Still think Gabe looks like a real life Peter Griffin.

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

"because without steam, the PC game industry would fail" So basically what your telling me is that the PC game industry would fall on it's face without steam, and WoW contributed to the subscriptions in the millions. The pc game industry relying only on steam doesn't seem that accurate to me. "Valve has the best PC and console games out there" Too bad that counts as opinion when L4D, TF2, and HL2 don't do anything to innovate compared to HL1. Again it looks like your just expressing favoring the company instead of giving me an unbiased answer. I wouldn't say steam is horrible but security wise I think it could do a lot better. When it comes to buying windows games if theirs a game that doesn't have DRM, like the witcher or condemned then I buy the boxed version. Hell I own a copy of the orange box not digitally downloaded but if it's a DRM nightmare I have no choice then to buy it digitally.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Shardz7: What you say could be "true". But I only can think of two situations that requiere file management: modding games (from changing language to making a redux or an add on it), and cracking them. You know, more people are playing games today, even on PC, because it's easier. It's undeniable that more players are good for PC gaming market, that way it can generate better products. Sure I miss the DOS times, but I have DOS Box and I don't have to type C:\steam\common\hl.exe to get to Black Mesa.

gmreedy
gmreedy

"those individuals responsible for developing a vital technology or game design at a crucial juncture in video game history, paving the way for the many who followed them." Vital being without steam, the PC game industry would fail, and at the time when steam was first released, the PC industry was falling.

gmreedy
gmreedy

@tidusjeff because without steam, the PC game industry would fail, plus Valve has the best PC and console games out there. Half Life, Team Fortress, and Left 4 Dead.

gmreedy
gmreedy

Congrates Gabe. You deserve it for being having the biggest impact in PC gaming to date, as well as being one of the greatest game developers of all time AND being part of the best game company, Valve.

mark_unix
mark_unix

drm=online activation and gameplay statistic they steal when your not even playing online... the whole steam package is DRM mainly because it's keeping track of how many minutes u play and how u play i much rather have a securom disk than being tracked every gameplay minute (it's a massive invasion of privacy, which u can't fully disable...)

0B3L15k_o_Li9hT
0B3L15k_o_Li9hT

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Auction_Sniper
Auction_Sniper

Everybody loves Gabe, without him we wouldn't have Ivan the Space Biker!

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

I don't get it, why is Steam, a DRM/chat client/store worth giving a reward like that? Can someone who isn't a valve software fanboy translate?

smbius
smbius

@quinnd6 - "Using steam at that time was a major headache as I had to wait ages to download stupid files to my pc just to play a game that I had paid good money for and steam was also a major resource hog using up all my ram and slowing everything down to a crawl." Apparently, you didn't pay any good money for a good PC and a broadband connection. If anyone had your PC, they would hate Steam too. Steam rocks.

sunio
sunio

Meanwhile at valve

quinnd6
quinnd6

I remember buying halflife 2 for the pc when it came out a few years ago and I was on dialup and had to spend hours waiting for to download files waiting for the game to install. Using steam at that time was a major headache as I had to wait ages to download stupid files to my pc just to play a game that I had paid good money for and steam was also a major resource hog using up all my ram and slowing everything down to a crawl. I haven't used steam since I finished halflife 2 on pc. So anyway I absolutely hate steam and think it's the biggest piece of garbage ever created. Played halflife 2 and all the other halflife episodes on my 360 since and they were brilliant so I mean good on him for coming up with those games but forcing people to use this piece of garbage when playing halflife 2 on pc was pretty low. Maybe things have changed since broadband and more powerful pc's and stuff but even so I never want to have to use steam again.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Hi Gabe. Half-Life 2 Episode 3 please.

TheLemonGelati
TheLemonGelati

I honestly don't remember the last time I've actually purchased a PC game in store. Steam is an easy and very convenient way to purchase on the fly, sign in on any PC and play your content, easily jump into games with friends, and I also enjoy the achievements. Steam has come a heck of a long way, and I use it daily. Now hopefully the Valve teams working on Episode 3, I wanna see somethin by E3;)

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@Shardz: So you're basically saying that the PC should be a complicated, high-threshold-for-entry platform that is inaccessible to the layman? I generally consider barriers to entry and limiting your potential customer base a bad thing. I guess the fact that computers today are increasingly simple to build, maintain, more affordable, and just generally easier to acquire is evidence that important figures in the industry agree with me and not you.

Genocide6sic6
Genocide6sic6

my only real gripe I have with digital downloads is not having the game manual to take to the crapper with me. Then again, game manuals the past handful of years have been nothing more than install guides and copyright boredom anyway.

Genocide6sic6
Genocide6sic6

@Shardz7 I totally disagree. There was once a time in my life where being the gestapo over my files and programs was fun, but that time has passed. At 30+ years of age and having been a gamer since the text adventures days, it's nice to finally have something organize my gaming. Steam is not without its flaws, but it's come a long way.

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

@Shardz7 i have yet to see any evidence to support your theory. i could understand how console gaming is for the computer illiterate but most people that use steam are die hard PC gamers because if they were not they would not be playing games on their PC. and even so now-a-days PC games require very little work to function. it is as simple as clicking the mouse several times and entering the product key. the modem strings and such that you mention haven't been relevant in any sort of gaming in almost 2 decades.

Shardz7
Shardz7

Steam is for computer illiterate kids who can't manage their own files or keep a system running for more than six months without having to reload the OS. Ever since Steam has come on the scene, we are seeing more and more PC gamers that aren't even able to understand the platform they are playing on cause they need to have everything hand placed for them. Kids these days would be completely lost back in the DOS days when you had to type in custom modem strings and actually understand how file structures work. It's a nice idea I suppose, but Steam is spawning a whole new generation of GameTards that have no clue what they are doing other than racking up achievements in their portfolio.

majindan
majindan

Mad props for Steam, IF you like digital ownership. Otherwise, switch to oatz, do some squats, fattie.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

I was a Steam doubter when it started. Needless to say the hard work and vision of guys like Gabe completely converted me. It's one thing to come up with a great idea, another to convince others it's great by implementing it correctly. Gabe's done both, and he's an important figure in the industry because of it.

namdar
namdar

I've been a loyal follower of all valve games and ideas. Gabe is the man! PS he's put on quite a bit weight since the first hl1 game!

santinegrete
santinegrete

@mark_unix: DRM is another piece of crap. Sometimes it works togheter with STEAM in EA games, but is other kind of crap. And prices are the same: it's kinda hard to compare (unless you think the download version should be cheaper than retail for not having a disk medium, or are european). By the way: steam got really better since launch, so IMO is far superior than a retail with a drm, securom or whatever.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Kid Chameleon 2 of my all time favourite megadrive games enough said gratz gabe

JKnaperek
JKnaperek

Gabe Newell looks very similiar to the guy playing WoW in that one Southpark episode.

eagles_band
eagles_band

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dzimm
dzimm

Gabe Newell is the man!

Xtos89
Xtos89

well source games are probably the most fun ive ever had.....congrats

vunacar
vunacar

Good Game, Mr. Newell.

Timstuff
Timstuff

Gabe Newell is pretty much a real-life System Wars user.

elozl
elozl

Gabe gave us the future (well done) of gaming before the rest!

DKant
DKant

I like how Portal is mentioned up there with Half-Life instead of the (arguably) much bigger CounterStrike or Team Fortress franchises. :) Yay to small, great games!

gamer082009
gamer082009

Yeah yeah, Gabe Newell he's the man if he can't do it no one can! Thanks to them I've spent many hours playing Half-Life 2, and enjoyed every last bit of it.

cr1sty
cr1sty

it's true they did a great job,but i hope they gona keep it up like this!