Host for the Game Developers Choice Awards will be Writer and Content Creator Alanah Pearce, with Entrepreneur Trinidad (Hermida) Black presenting the Independent Games Festival Awards

Organizers of the 24th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the premier accolades for peer recognition in the digital games industry, will honor Yoko Shimomura, composer for games such as Kingdom Hearts, Super Mario RPG, Street Fighter II and Final Fantasy XV with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Fawzi Mesmar, who has worked at major game companies for over 20 years in the industry and is an active mentor, author, public speaker and more, will receive the Ambassador Award, awarded to individuals who elevate video games and the industry as a whole to a better place.

In addition to the reveal of the special award recipients, the organizers behind the GDCA and 2024 Independent Games Festival (IGF) have named the host for each award show. This year, the GDCAs will be presented by Alanah Pearce, a writer and content creator who has been working in video games for 10+ years. She’s currently writing at a AAA games studio, as well as running a successful YouTube channel, several podcasts that focus on game development and directing the annual Video Game Accessibility Awards. The Independent Game Festival (IGF) Awards ceremony will be presented by Trinidad (Hermida) Black, the Executive Director of The Black in Gaming Foundation and CEO of The Hermida Company.

Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Yoko Shimomura is a respected Japanese composer and pianist who has delighted players across the world thanks to her work on many iconic game soundtracks. Yoko began her career at Capcom in 1988 where she worked on the music for titles including Street Fighter II, Final Fight and The King of Dragons. In 1993, she joined Square (now Square Enix) where she composed the soundtracks for games such as Live A Live, the Kingdom Hearts series, Final Fantasy XV, Super Mario RPG and Legends of Man. Yoko later departed from Square Enix and founded her own music production company called Midiplex, where she still works to this day, and she also serves as a member of the music label Brave Wave Productions.

Fawzi Mesmar, recipient of this year’s Ambassador Award, is an award-winning creative director, game designer, author, public speaker and mentor whose career has spanned over two decades in the games industry. Fawzi’s career has taken him to the Middle East, New Zealand, Japan and Europe, where he worked for several notable game companies such as Ubisoft, EA, King (Activision Blizzard), Gameloft and Atlus, and he has worked on over twenty tiles and had a hand in developing well-known franchises such as the Battlefield, Candy Crush, Mario Rabbids, Star Wars and Persona series. Fawzi is also the author of the first-ever textbook about game design in Arabic: Al-Khallab On The Art of Game Design and has co-authored nine comic books under the Men of Honour series. In recent years, Fawzi won the Game Dev Heroes award in 2020 within the Game Design category and in the same year, was named one of the industry’s top 100 game changers.

“We are so proud to honor Yoko Shimomura and Fawzi Mesmar for their multiple decades worth of contribution to the crafts of art and making games,” said Stephenie Hawkins, Event Director at Informa Tech. “Not only have they created enduring works in the medium, they’ve also carved a path that allowed others in their fields to thrive and succeed. Their success is measured not just in their singular accomplishments, but in the ways they’ve inspired the works of other aspiring composers and designers around the world.”

The 24th annual GDCA awards ceremony will take place during the 2024 Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Wednesday, March 20, and is held in conjunction with the Independent Game Festival (IGF) awards. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Ambassador Awards were chosen by this year’s Game Developers Choice Editorial Committee, following suggestions from the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). All GDC 2024 pass-holders will be able to watch both award ceremonies in-person at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. The GDCA and IGF award shows will also be livestreamed on the official GDC Twitch channel.

For more information about the 24th 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:


About GDC

The Game Developers Conference® (GDC) is the world’s largest professional game industry event with market-defining content for programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision makers, and others involved in the development of interactive games and immersive experiences. GDC brings together the global game development community year-round through events and digital media, including the GDC Vault, GameDeveloper.com, Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.

GDC is organized by Informa PLC, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events organizer in the world. To learn more and for the latest news and information visit www.informa.com.


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