Markus "Notch" Persson, founder of Minecraft developer Mojang, will be awarded the Pioneer Award at next month's Game Developers Choice Awards.
The Pioneer Award "honours breakthrough tech and game design milestones," which is certainly fitting of Minecraft. The game has sold more than 70 million copies across multiple platforms since its 2011 launch, and it's open-ended structure have allowed players to use it as everything from an educational tool (as in MinecraftEdu and the Auckland War Memorial Museum's Gallipoli in Minecraft exhibition) to a platform for building computers.
This year's recipient of the Ambassador Award has also been announced: Tracy Fullerton, associate professor and director of the University of Southern California (USC) Games program. Fullerton's research centre, the Game Innovation Lab, "has played an instrumental role in the creation of influential independent games that include Cloud, fl0w, Darfur is Dying, the Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and the Night Journey," according to the event's organisers.
The Game Developers Choice Awards 2016 will be held on March 16 at the San Francisco Moscone Center. The nominees for Game of the Year are Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Rocket League, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with honourable mentions given to Her Story, Life is Strange, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, and Undertale.