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Production Genius Mark Cerny to Receive IGDA's Lifetime Achievement Award at 4th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - February 9, 2004 - The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) will recognize Mark Cerny for his lifelong contribution to the video game industry. Cerny will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony on March 24, 2004 during the 2004 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Jose, Calif.

Cerny is known internationally as a master collaborator. Having served in a number of functions from creator and producer to programmer, designer, and publishing executive, he utilizes his intuition, insight and experience to bring the key people and necessary elements together to develop and market consistently successful games. Cerny's career is decorated with blockbusters such as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series, and more recently with work on Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter.

"If there has been one constant theme over the last two decades, it is the drive and talent of those around me," said Mark Cerny, president, Cerny Games. "This award is a tremendous honor that I'd like to share with the friends and colleagues who have invited me into their projects and given me their support."

Cerny has also been praised for his unique production method, an unconventional but highly successful approach to bringing games to market. The "Cerny Method" emphasizes an explorative risk-taking pre-production period, based on the belief that the best ideas require a period of creative freedom free from rigidly scheduled deadlines. Cerny also asserts that the ultimate success or failure of a game can be determined by its first playable level. Cerny has given talks on his distinctive game creation model at the GDC.

"Too many companies race forward into full production before the game design is perfected, and waste a ton of resources as a result," said Cerny. "I believe in a different method, one that recognizes the urgency of getting the game design down before beginning earnest production. The schedule-driven model that many people believe to be a common-sense approach to game development is frequently dead wrong."

Before the age of twenty, Cerny was already a team leader, designer and graphics programmer for Atari's Marble Madness, an early arcade classic.

After Atari, Cerny spent several years with Sega in Japan. He founded and managed the Sega Technical Institute, where he oversaw the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Kid Chameleon.

Cerny later joined Universal Interactive Studios as vice president, becoming its president two years later. Serving also as executive producer on Universal's titles, Cerny made significant creative contributions to the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series, which collectively sold more than 30 million units.

As founder of Cerny Games, a game design consultancy, Cerny continues to offer his expertise in the areas of production, design and technology. Since its inception, Cerny Games has contributed to the release of seven new million-selling game titles, including Jak II and Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando.

"We're proud to recognize Mark Cerny with the Lifetime Achievement Award," said Jason Della Rocca, program director, IGDA. "It's rare to find a 'jack of all trades' that not only has the high-level vision for great game design, but can act as the glue to adhere all the pieces together. His unusual but highly effective methodology has brought us some of the most entertaining games in history."

The Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, is one of the most prestigious accolades in the profession. Recipients are selected by The Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Board, comprised of some of the game industry's most recognized game creators.

The 4th annual Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Civic Auditorium, San Jose on March 24, 2004, during the GDC, the world's largest conference and exposition dedicated to video game development and related industries.

About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit membership organization that advocates globally on issues related to digital game creation. The IGDA's mission is to strengthen the international game development community and effect change to benefit that community. For more information on the IGDA, please visit www.igda.org or e-mail info@igda.org.

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