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Veteran Sega Developer Rieko Kodama Will Receive GDC 2019 Pioneer Award

Image credit: GDC

Organizers of the 19th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards have announced in a press release that the recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award will be “trailblazing” Sega veteran, Rieko Kodama.

With a successful career spanning more than three decades, Kodama is one of the most accomplished developers in the video games industry. She joined Sega in 1984, making her debut with Champion Boxing for the SG-1000 console. She then went on to design arcade games like Sega Ninja and Quartet before moving on to create background designs for Alex Kidd in Miracle World and key artwork for Phantasy Star.

Kodama is also behind 7th Dragon, Altered Beast, and Sega Ages series among a plethora of titles.

“The Game Developers Choice Awards were conceived as a way to recognize the all-too-often unsung genius and dedication of game developers throughout history, and this year’s award honors a figure who helped pave the way for countless game creators to follow,” said GDC General Manager, Katie Stern. “After decades spent developing some of SEGA’s most indelible classics, Kodama-san could easily rest on her laurels, but instead has dedicated herself to creating games that transcend gender and generations to give us countless hours of joy. This award is a ‘thank you’ to Kodama-san and all creators who work so hard to achieve greatness.”

This year’s GDC Awards will also honor veteran writer and former Uncharted creative director, Amy Hennig, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30 pm PST at the San Francisco Moscone Center.