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BioWare's  Mass Effect 2  Wins Game Of The Year At Interactive Achievement Awards

BioWare's Mass Effect 2 Wins Game Of The Year At Interactive Achievement Awards

February 11, 2011 | By Kris Graft

February 11, 2011 | By Kris Graft
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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences named BioWare’s blockbuster role-playing game Mass Effect 2 game of the year at the Interactive Achievement Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

Hosted once again by comedian Jay Mohr, who poked fun at his cancelled sitcom and said that “BlizzCon makes [the IAAs] look like The Kennedy Center Honors,” the IAAs recognized other games including Rovio’s mobile darling Angry Birds HD and Playdead’s indie hit Limbo. Rockstar San Diego’s Red Dead Redemption won five awards – the most of the night.

BioWare heads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk also accepted the first joint AIAS Hall of Fame Award at the event. The pair was introduced by John Riccitiello, CEO of BioWare parent Electronic Arts.

“I’m not sure when I met Ray and Greg, but my lawyers insist it was not a secret meeting set up by their agents,” said Riccitiello – a joke in reference to accusations related to Activision’s suit against EA and former Infinity Ward studio heads.

Zynga’s CityVille won the award in the social networking game category, beating out other games including Zynga’s own FrontierVille. “Zynga has two horses in that race so there’s a three out of five chance that an actual game might win,” comedian Mohr joked.

Industry veteran Don Daglow introduced Pinball Construction Set and Raster Blaster creator Bill Budge with the Pioneer Award. Daglow said that as Budge’s games became successes, the video game industry was in the midst of a crash.

But Budge, who now works for Google, went forward despite adversity. “It was a tough time, but Bill Budge … inspired a generation of game designers to not give up,” said Daglow.

The most prepared acceptance speech came from AIAS Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bing Gordon. The longtime video game industry executive, who among other activities is currently a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, read a lengthy poem that touched on various aspects of the games industry.

“Today our industry is experiencing a bit of refrain, but recognize this – we’re all in the golden age of gaming,” said Gordon, who donned a black velvet shirt at the awards. A reel of everyone from Will Wright and Sid Meier to comedian Robin Williams honored his career in games.

AIAS president Martin Rae said in a statement, "This year's award-winning games demonstrate the depth of talent, passion and innovation that distinguishes this compelling medium."

The full list of IAA winners is listed below:

Game of the Year
Mass Effect 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Creative Director: Casey Hudson

Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
Red Dead Redemption
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Lead Designer: Christian Cantamessa

Casual Game of the Year
Angry Birds
Publisher: Chillingo
Developer: Rovio
Executive Producers: Niklas Hed, Mikael Hed
Producer: Harro Gronberg
Lead Designers: Jaakko Iisalo, Markus Tuppurainen

Portable Game of the Year
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Ready at Dawn/SCE Santa Monica Studio
Producer: Marc Turndorf
Creative Director: Ru Weerasuriya
Game Director: Dana Jan

Fighting Game of the Year
Super Street Fighter IV
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom/Dimps
Producer: Yoshinori Ono
Creative Director: Daisuke Aoki
Game Director: Takashi Tsukamoto

Role-Playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year
Mass Effect 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Creative Director: Casey Hudson

Sports Game of the Year
FIFA Soccer 11
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Producer: David Rutter
Creative Director: Gary Peterson

Racing Game of the Year
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Criterion
Executive Producer: Fiona Sperry
Creative Director: Craig Sullivan

Adventure Game of the Year
LIMBO
Publisher: Playdead
Developer: Playdead
Producers: Dino Patti, Mads Wibroe
Creative Director: Arnt Jensen
Game Director: Arnt Jensen

Social Networking Game of the Year
CityVille
Publisher: Zynga
Developer: Zynga
Producers: David Gray, Alex Le
Creative Director: Sean Kelly
Game Director: Mark Skaggs

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Production Director: Chris Sigaty
Senior Art Director: Sam Didier
Game Director: Dustin Browder

Action Game of the Year
Red Dead Redemption
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Producers: Steve Martin, David Kunkler
Lead Designer: Christian Cantamessa

Family Game of the Year
Dance Central
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios/MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Producer: Naoko Takamoto
Game Director: Kasson Crooker

Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
Heavy Rain
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Quantic Dream
Producer: Guillaume de Fondaumiere
Creative Director: David Cage
Game Director: David Cage

Outstanding Achievement in Animation
God of War III
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio
Lead Animator: Bruno Velazquez

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
Heavy Rain
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Quantic Dream
Technology Director: Damien Castelltort

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
Red Dead Redemption
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Art Director: Daren Bader

Outstanding Achievement in Story
Mass Effect 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Writers: Mac Walters, Drew Karpyshyn

Outstanding Character Performance
Red Dead Redemption – John Marston
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Writers: Christian Cantamessa, Dan Houser, Michael Unsworth
Voice Actor: Rob Wiethoff

Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack
Rock Band 3
Publisher: MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Music Supervisor: Eric Brosius

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
LIMBO
Publisher: Playdead
Developer: Playdead
Sound Design/Audio Lead: Martin Stig Andersen

Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Executive VP Game Design: Rob Pardo
Project Director Battle.net: Greg Canessa
Battle.net Designer: Alex Sun
Technical Director Battle.net: Matthew Versluys

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition
Heavy Rain
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Quantic Dream
Composer: Norman Corbeil

Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering
Red Dead Redemption
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Lead Designer: Christian Cantamessa


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