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2022 Game Developers Choice Awards To Honor Accessibility Advocate & Award-Winning Author Steven Spohn With Ambassador Award Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Horii With Lifetime Achievement Award

SAN FRANCISCO – February 25, 2022 – Organizers of the 22nd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the leading peer-based video game event celebrating the industry’s top games and developers, have revealed the recipients of the ceremony’s prestigious special awards. Steven Spohn, a driving force for accessibility in games and Senior Director of Development of the AbleGamers charity, will receive the Ambassador Award, given to someone who has helped video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action. Yuji Horii, the creator of the legendary Dragon Quest series, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of dedication to the craft of video game development.

The 22nd annual awards ceremony will take place at the 2022 Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Wednesday, March 23 and held in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF). The ceremony is available to watch in-person for all GDC 2022 pass-holders as well as livestreamed on the official GDC Twitch channel. The 36th edition of GDC will be held in-person and virtually at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center from March 21-25.

The Ambassador Award will be presented to Steven Spohn for his work advocating for accessibility in video games as a streamer, award-winning author and the Senior Director of Development of the AbleGamers charity. Featured on CNN, NBC and other mainstream news outlets as an assistive technology and game accessibility expert, Spohn champions for people with disabilities to use the video game space as a means of defeating social isolation. Spohn and the AbleGamers charity have pushed the inclusive efforts of the industry forward by training and consulting studios while connecting them directly with players who can share their personal experiences.

Yuji Horii will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his groundbreaking work as the creator of the beloved Dragon Quest series, which has influenced and inspired role-playing game design since the release of Dragon Quest in 1986. Horii began his professional career as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines before winning a game programming contest sponsored by Enix (now Square Enix), which led to his work with the publisher that lasts to this day. The seminal Dragon Quest series has spanned over 35 years and sold over 76 million units, with the most recent game in the series, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, released in 2021. 

The video game industry has been forever impacted by the work of both Steven Spohn in accessibility and Yuji Horii in design,” said Katie Stern, who oversees the GDC as VP of Entertainment Media at Informa Tech. “They have both inspired creators and players alike and we look forward to honoring them at the Game Developers Choice Awards, where we are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate the development community together in-person once again.”

Recipients of the Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Awards were chosen by this year’s Game Developers Choice Special Awards Jury, which includes game industry veterans Chandana Ekanayake, Greg Kasavin, Dana Nightingale, Siobhan Reddy and Kiki Wolfkill, following suggestions from the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN).

For more information about the 22nd annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com. For more details on the Game Developers Conference, please visit the GDC’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Official photos are available via the Official GDC Flickr account: www.flickr.com/photos/officialgdc.

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