Epic Games founder and current CEO Tim Sweeney has been selected as the 16th inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame. Set to be made official during the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit this February, the honor will see Sweeney rewarded for his contributions to gaming, including his development of the Unreal Engine and his hand in creating some of gaming’s most memorable franchises.
“Tim’s vision has changed the face of gaming with the advent of the Unreal Engine and the commitment of Epic, as a studio, to bring both consumer and industry-facing technology to new heights.” said Martin Rae, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in this week’s announcement. “We’re honored to add Tim Sweeney to our Hall of Fame. His unrelenting and innovative work on behalf of developers and gamers has created the imaginative games that help to drive the success of our industry.”
A game maker from birth, Sweeney started Epic in 1991 while studying mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. Best known for shareware games like Jazz Jackrabbit and Epic Pinball, it wasn’t until Sweeney coded the text-based game ZZT that Epic truly started to flourish. From that point forward, the studio became a major player in the industry, introducing developers to the Unreal Engine in 1998, and gamers to hit series like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War.
“Many people in the game industry are aware of what a brilliant technical visionary he is, but what they might not realize is that he is also a great leader and thinks deeply about how to use technology to empower artists and creatives to be successful and realize their vision – not only at Epic but around the world in the studios who license our Unreal Engine technology,” stated Mark Rein, Epic’s vp, adding, “I am very proud to call him my friend and mentor, and am thrilled that I will be able to present this well-deserved award to him. I wish everyone in the industry could know Tim as I do.”
Epic Games also celebrated Sweeney’s induction with a tweet, proclaiming, “We are so proud of Tim Sweeney on his induction into the AIAS Hall of Fame! Congratulations Tim!”
Sweeney will officially join past inductees such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright, Sid Meier and last year’s honorees, the BioWare Doctors, when he is sworn in during the AIAS Awards on February 9, 2012, during the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.