Minecraft creator and leading educational figure to be recognised with special Pioneer and Ambassador prizes

Notch and USC games director Tracey Fullerton to receive top GDC Awards

Two of the development industry’s most iconic figures will receive special recognition at this year’s GDC Awards.

Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the illustrious creator of Minecraft, will be given the Pioneer award, which celebrates “breakthrough tech and game design milestones”.

Minecraft was the first game to win in multiple categories at both the GDC and IGF Awards back in 2011, and has since gone on to sell more than 70 million units.

The studio behind the title, Mojang, which was founded by Persson, was purchased by Microsoft in 2014 in a record $2.5 billion deal.

Meanwhile, Tracey Fullerton will be granted the Ambassador prize.

Fullerton is associate professor and director of the games programme at the University of Southern California (USC), where she has helped form the creation of titles including fl0w, Cloud, The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom and The Night Journey.

She is also the author of the book Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Game and has been previously nominated at the Emmys, as well as being highlighted in Time Magazine’s ‘Best of the Web’.

The GDC Awards will take place on March 16th during this year’s conference.

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