Little Big Planet, Phil Harrison awarded at Develop

Media Molecule picks up five trophies, ex-Sony and Atari man gets lifetime achievement.

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The Develop conference in Brighton is always one of the highlights of the UK development calendar, and this year has been no exception. With Dave Jones of Realtime Worlds opening up on APB and the secrets of making great games, Media Molecule discussing Little Big Planet, and Sony talking about SingStar's success, there has been something for everyone.

Phil Harrison collects his award.
Phil Harrison collects his award.

This year's Develop Industry Excellence awards were also a big part of the conference and were spread among the great and the good of the British games industry. Media Molecule led the charge among the 15 honourees, with the Little Big Planet developer picking up five awards: Best New IP, Visual Arts, Technical Innovation, Best New Studio, and Best Independent Developer.

Other gongs were picked up by Rockstar North (the studio behind Grand Theft Auto IV), which was recognised as having the best in-house team, while their colleagues at Rockstar Leeds won the award for Best Handheld Games Studio. Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Studios was rewarded for the audio work on Fable II, and the team at Traveller's Tales was recognised for its work on Lego Batman in the Best Use of a Licence Category.

Phil Harrison, currently a non-executive director of Atari, was given the Development Legend award. Harrison previously headed up Sony Computer Entertainment's worldwide studios and served as a vice president for SCEA. Jacqui Lyon--who has been representing development talent since the 1980s--got the Lifetime Achievement award.

The Grand Prix went to veteran British development and publishing house Codemasters. "Titles created by Codemasters Studios consistently demonstrate landmark technical achievements and deliver a guarantee of quality to gamers," according to the editor-in-chief of Develop magazine, which organises the industry-voted awards. Gavin Cheshire, Codemasters' vice president for development, summed up the studio's feeling of satisfaction, saying: "We are honoured to receive the Develop Grand Prix award. It's a testament to the creativity, technical expertise, and hard work from everyone at Codemasters."

The full list of winners is as follows:

CREATIVITY
Best New IP
Little Big Planet (Media Molecule)

Best Use of a Licence
Lego Batman (Traveller's Tales)

Visual Arts
Little Big Planet (Media Molecule)

Audio Accomplishment
Fable II (Lionhead)

Publishing Hero
Apple

TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES
Technical Innovation
Little Big Planet (Media Molecule)

Best Tools Provider
Autodesk

Best Engine
Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Recruitment Company
Amiqus

Services
Audiomotion

Creative Outsourcing
Side & Sidelines

STUDIOS
Best New Studio
Media Molecule

Best Handheld Games Studio
Rockstar Leeds

Business Development
Playfish

Best Independent Developer
Media Molecule

Best In-House Team
Rockstar North

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Development Legend
Phil Harrison

Lifetime Achievement
Jacqui Lyons

Grand Prix
Codemasters

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