By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Video game industry pioneer Shuhei Yoshida will be honoured with a prestigious Fellowship at the Bafta Games Awards, it has been announced.
Mr Yoshida, Head of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) Independent Developer Initiative, will be presented with the accolade at the event on March 30.
The award recognises outstanding contributions to games, and is the highest accolade bestowed by Bafta to those who have driven positive change in the screen arts.
Bafta said Mr Yoshida’s Fellowship recognises him as a “champion of independent developers”.
Mr Yoshida joined the PlayStation project in 1993, promoting innovative games design and the role of independent developers, and helping to launch one of the most popular gaming consoles in the world.
He later became the president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment), and has overseen the company’s growth from a hardware and software developer to a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment.
During his time as head of SIE, from 2008 to 2019, Mr Yoshida was among those responsible for production of some of the industry’s most popular franchises.
Titles include Ratchet And Clank, Uncharted, God Of War, and The Last Of Us, which has recently been adapted into a successful HBO series.
“Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredibly talented teams who’ve developed some of the best games in the industry,” Mr Yoshida said.
“I’ve always celebrated alongside these developers as their games have received well-deserved awards – it is an amazing honour for me to receive an accolade of my own.”
As a recipient of the Bafta Fellowship, Mr Yoshida joins other titans of the creative industry including Dame Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Scorsese, and Dame Helen Mirren.
Bafta chief executive Jane Millichip said “Shuhei Yoshida is a pioneer in the games world and is hugely deserving of a Bafta Fellowship.
“His collaborative, supportive approach continues to drive progress within the industry, using his platform to promote the voices and craft of others and champion the work of independent designers, studios and creatives.
“We look forward to honouring his contribution to games at the ceremony on March 30.”
Mr Yoshida will be presented with the award at the 19th annual Bafta Games Awards on March 30, taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank.
The event, hosted by esports and gaming presenter Frankie Ward, will be livestreamed exclusively on Twitch.tv/BAFTA from 6.50pm.