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Trip Hawkins Gets Inducted to the AIAS Hall of Fame

by Judy on Jan. 31, 2005 @ 11:03 a.m. PST

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), the professional organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of interactive arts, announced today that Trip Hawkins will be awarded the AIAS Hall of Fame Award, joining an elite group of interactive entertainment industry legends. Hawkins will be given the award at the 8th Annual Interactive Achievements Awards ceremony, being held at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Las Vegas on February 1, the second evening of the 2005 D.I.C.E. Summit.

“Trip Hawkins is one of the interactive entertainment industry’s true pioneers, with credentials that are unparalleled,” said Joseph Olin, President of the AIAS. “Trip’s belief that the video game industry would achieve the status as a mass entertainment medium spans three decades. From the earliest hardware platforms to today’s mobile technology, Trip continues to create and innovate with all of us the benefactors of his efforts.”

One of the most difficult decisions the Academy's Board of Directors faces each year is choosing an inductee into the AIAS Hall of Fame. The Board looks for a person that has made a significant impact or contribution to the industry, such as pioneering a new game genre; changing the face of the art form through new technology; influencing other designers and products; demonstrating the highest level of creativity and innovation; and consistent product success at a level that helps expand the industry. Trip Hawkins has accomplished all of those things and much more.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by my distinguished peers in the industry,” said Trip Hawkins. “It is a great privilege to join the industry’s greatest luminaries and be one of few to be named an AIAS Hall of Fame inductee. I love this industry and am not finished pushing its boundaries.”

From the moment Hawkins laid his eyes on the first computer in 1972, he knew he wanted to make video games. He began programming his first games while at Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in strategy and applied game theory. His first game was a 1973 football simulation, which foreshadowed the video game empire that would become known to the world as “Madden” and “EA Sports.” Hawkins earned his MBA at Stanford, and in 1978 went to work for Apple. Hawkins helped grow the company from $2 million in revenues and 50 employees to $1 billion and over 4,000 employees, in just 4 years.

After leaving Apple in 1982, Hawkins regained his focus on video games and incorporated Electronic Arts later that year. The 1980s were tough, due to the demise of the original Atari, but Hawkins pushed forward. After developing some of the industry’s earliest sports games, Hawkins moved onto a favorite sport, football, and brought legendary football coach, John Madden into the picture -- and the rest has made history.

In the 1990s, Hawkins left EA and formed 3DO with the goal of advancing the video game industry through 3D graphics, multimedia capabilities, optical disc mass storage and liberal licensing models. While at 3DO, Hawkins set his eyes on the Internet and launched what many industry pundits consider the first massively multiplayer game with graphics, Meridian 59.

The dawn of the new millennium spawned Hawkins current endeavor, a company called Digital Chocolate. Targeting the burgeoning mobile games industry, Hawkins newest business has already reaped some recent successes in the growing new world of casual games like Bubble Ducky.

Previous winners of the AIAS Hall of Fame award include 2004’s winner Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios (Black & White); 2003’s winner Yu Suzuki of SEGA┬« Corporation (Afterburner, F355 Challenge, Shenmue series, Virtua Fighter 4 f); 2002’s winner Will Wright of Maxis (SimCity, The Sims, The Sims Online); 2001's winner John Carmack (DOOM, Quake); 2000's winner Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy); 1999's winner Sid Meier (Civilization, Railroad Tycoon); and 1998's winner Shigeru Miyamoto (Pikman, Donkey Kong, Legend of Zelda, Mario).

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