While European studios might have been represented well for the first time, it was the Japanese that cleared up at the 2009 run of the CEDEC Awards.
Now in its second year, the awards seek to recognise achievements by game developers over the course of gaming history. This year, Media Molecule was up for three awards thanks to LittleBigPlanet, and Crytek and Rockstar North were also given nods for their input to the progression of game development as a craft.
The Programming prize was taken home by Sony Worldwide Studio Japan’s Shadow of the Colossus team, for the ‘real time changing of collision shapes’ and other impressive techniques. Capcom meanwhile won two awards: Visual Arts, for Okami, and Monster Hunter Portable’s exploitation of cooperative play.
The Sound award, was won by Nintendo’s Rhythm Paradise team, for their efforts in blending gameplay and sound, and Youtube-esque site NicoNico’s developer Dwango won the Network prize.
Two special literary prizes were also handed out on the evening, one of which went to Sho Hirayama, a programmer at Sega who adapted new recruit documentation into a popular book called ‘Techniques I want to learn before I become a game programmer’.
The other literary award was posthumously awarded to Haruhisa Ishida, the translator of Kernighan and Ritchie’s seminal classic ‘The C Programming Language’, the first Japanese edition of which was published in 1989. Tecmo Koei CEO Kenji Matsubara said: "I only regret that we hadn’t given him this award last year, while he was still alive."
Last but by no means least was the Special Prize, awarded to those who have contributed significantly to the development of games. The inaugural Special Prize went to Shigeru Miyamoto; but this year it was Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii whose lifetime achievements were celebrated: before he released the first Dragon Quest 23 years ago, very few people played RPGs in Japan, and even fewer developed them.