LittleBigPlanet and its creator Media Molecule scooped five of the prestigious accolades, triumphing in the Best New IP, Visual Arts, Technical Innovation, Best New Studio and Best Independent Developer categories.
Elsewhere, Phil Harrison was awarded the Development Legend award for his sterling contribution to the European games industry during a long and illustrious career. And agent Jacqui Lyons - the first person in the world to recognise the pulling power of games developers - was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The highly prestigious Grand Prix Award is bestowed on the company felt by Develop to have contributed the most to the games medium in recent times.
“We are honoured to receive the Develop Grand Prix Award. It’s a testament to the creativity, technical expertise and hard work from everyone at Codemasters,” said Gavin Cheshire, VP Development, Codemasters.
“We’ve strengthened our business to take advantage of the changing landscape of games development. With DiRT, GRID and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising we’ve turned long-standing IPs in to multi-award winning, reinvigorated and successful franchises. In the EGO Engine, we’ve created award-winning multi-genre, multi format technology. With FORMULA ONE we are creating new gaming benchmarks for the world’s most exciting motor sport. We’ve grown our Studios operation, adding Guildford and Birmingham sites to our long-established Warwickshire facility. We have continued to attract the best people and they’re creating brand new titles - the best is yet to come.”
Develop editor-in-chief Michael French commented “2009 was the biggest and best Develop Awards by far and in bestowing Codemasters with our Grand Prix Award we recognise and celebrate their world-class heritage and long-term success. Titles created by Codemasters Studios consistently demonstrate landmark technical achievements and deliver a guarantee of quality to gamers. That Codemasters’ development operation has grown and added two further studio facilities to its existing base is great news for the development community and industry as a whole.”
Over 500 games industry creatives gathered at the sold-out event to honour their peers, as Jason Manford hosted a star-studded evening celebrating the very best in the European development industry.
Now in their seventh year, the Develop Industry Excellence Awards are the only dedicated awards evening for European games developers. Voted for by a panel of industry experts pooled from the magazine's influential and knowledgeable readership, they are a real reminder of the skill, creativity and influence of the European development industry.
“It's just brilliant that a game which has been commercially successful across the world should be rightly honoured so extensively by the territory in which it was created,” says Michael French, editor in chief, Develop Magazine. “LittleBig Planet is a real exercise in smart, imaginative game development, and one which put Media Molecule on the map. When the industry is often wrongly criticised for its reliance on licensed titles, Media Molecule has shown the value in a wholly original approach.
“Elsewhere, the Awards were fiercely contested, illustrating the rude health of the creative industry at the moment. We salute the winners, and pat the shoulders of those nominated - but everyone in the business should be rightly congratulated for another stellar year.”
The winners in full:
- Best New IP: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Use of a Licence: Lego Batman (Traveller's Tales)
- Visual Arts: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Audio Accomplishment: Fable II (Lionhead)
- Publishing Hero: Apple
Technology & Services:
- Technical Innovation: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Tools Provider: Autodesk
- Best Engine: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
- Recruitment Company: Amiqus
- Services: Audiomotion
- Creative Outsourcing: Side & Sidelines
- Best New Studio: Media Molecule
- Best Handheld Games Studio: Rockstar Leeds
- Business Development: Playfish
- Best Independent Developer: Media Molecule
- Best In-House Team: Rockstar North
- Development Legend: Phil Harrison
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Jacqui Lyons
- Grand Prix: Codemasters