The 19th annual D.I.C.E. Awards, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Science’s long-running entertainment software industry award ceremony, will be held next month. The Awards recognize teams and individuals whose contributions to the gaming industry push it forward in meaningful ways. This year, Nintendo’s late president Satoru Iwata will join a short list of individuals who have been honored at the ceremony with a special Lifetime Achievement Award.

An academy of more than 22,000 members nominates and votes on a variety of categories focused on genres, technical accomplishments and creativity. Nintendo is being recognized in a few categories at the show, with Super Mario Maker up for Family Game of the Year, Splatoon for Action Game of the Year, Splatoon for Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay, and Yo-Kai Watch for Handheld Game of the Year.

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Only five people have been honored with D.I.C.E.’s Lifetime Achievement Award in its nearly 20 year history. In 2007, Howard Lincoln, Nintendo’s legal council-turned Senior Vice President and Minoru Arkawa, the first president of Nintendo of America, received the honor in tandem. They were recognized for their highly effective leadership in the face of nearly insurmountable odds, and for resurrecting the video game industry from a state of collapse.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for “individuals whose accomplishments span a broad range of disciplines over a long career in the industry” and who have “driven a significant and positive change across the industry.” Both can be said, without question, about Satoru Iwata, who went from programmer to designer to president of Nintendo, maintaining and utilizing all of the talents he had gained from each. He was instrumental in the conception and launch of the Nintendo DS and Wii, two of the company’s most successful gaming devices, and also laid the groundwork for Nintendo’s new mobile initiative and its upcoming hardware, codenamed NX.

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The award ceremony will take place in Las Vegas on February 18th.

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Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.

Brittin Shauers