Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Sweeney's first game, ZZT, led to "an explosion of user-created worlds," GDC said in the announcement of his award, thanks to its built-in scripting capabilities, which enabled players to create virtually unlimited new stories and worlds.
Epic experienced continued success throughout the '90s with games like Tyrian, Epic Pinball, and Jazz Jackrabbit, but it was the release of Unreal in 1998 that really pushed it into the big-time. Unreal itself wasn't a huge hit, but it gave the world the Unreal Engine, "the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games," which has evolved over the years into its current, free iteration, Unreal Engine 4. "The engine is now being adapted by non-game development teams across the automotive, aviation, architecture, VR/AR, complex data visualization and film sectors," the award announcement says.
Sweeney will take his place beside previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners including Todd Howard, Sid Meier, John Carmack, and Peter Molyneux on March 1, during the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony. The event, hosted by Double Fine Productions chief Tim Schafer, will be livestreamed on Twitch, beginning at 6:30 pm PT.