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Red Dead Redemption, Minecraft Big Winners At 11th Annual Choice Awards

Rockstar San Diego's critically-acclaimed Wild West adventure title Red Dead Redemption was the big winner at the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco yesterday evening.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at UBM TechWeb Game Network's historic 25th Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with Red Dead Redemption receiving a total of four awards, including Best Game Design and the coveted Game of the Year award.

Another award stand-out, Swedish developer Mojang's 3D sandbox title Minecraft, received awards for Best Debut Game, Best Downloadable Game, and the Innovation Award. The game was also awarded the Seumas McNally Grand Prize earlier in the evening at the 11th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, making this the first year a game has been recognized by both the GDCA and the IGF during the same year.

Other Choice Awards winners include BioWare's emotionally-charged science fiction adventure Mass Effect 2, which won the award for Best Writing, and ZeptoLab's iOS hit Cut the Rope, which took home the prize for Best Handheld Game.

Finally, the Best Visual Arts Award went to indie developer Playdead's Xbox Live Arcade hit Limbo. The evocative monochrome puzzle platformer won last year's Independent Game Festival Awards for Visual Art and Technical Excellence.

The Game Developers Choice Awards, which honor the very best games of the year, was created for and voted on by developers. The finalists were chosen via a combination of open game industry nominations and the votes of the leading creators in the Choice Awards Advisory Committee.

Winners for this year's awards were selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all facets of the video game industry.

In addition to the game-specific awards, Peter Molyneux, co-founder of Bullfrog Studios and founder of Lionhead Studios, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his more than 30 years of contributions to the art and science of games, creating genre classics like Populous, Black & White and the Fable franchise along the way.

The Game Developers Choice Awards also honored community veterans Tim Brengle and Ian MacKenzie, the managers behind the Game Developers Conference Associates (CA) program, with the Ambassador Award. The award recognizes the duo's work on early CGDC and GDC shows, and their combined 20-plus years of devotion to creating and fostering a community of volunteers who aspire to better the game development community.

Finally, the 2011 Pioneer Award was presented to Sega veteran and Japanese game design legend Yu Suzuki for his amazing work over the last three decades, having invented entire game genres and created seminal titles spanning Hang On through Virtua Fighter, to OutRun, After Burner, Shenmue - and beyond.

The recipients of the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are:

Game of the Year
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)

Best Writing
Mass Effect 2 (BioWare)

Best Game Design
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)

Best Debut Game
Minecraft (Mojang)

Best Handheld Game
Cut the Rope (ZeptoLab)

Best Technology
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)

Innovation Award
Minecraft (Mojang)

Best Audio
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego)

Best Visual Arts
Limbo (Playdead)

Best Downloadable Game
Minecraft (Mojang)

Recipients for the evening's special awards were:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Molyneux

Pioneer Award
Yu Suzuki

Ambassador Award
Tim Brengle and Ian MacKenzie

"There was no shortage of groundbreaking titles across platforms and genres this year. From big-budget blockbusters like Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2, to indie darlings such as Minecraft and Limbo, 2010 was truly an incredible year for games, and we're delighted to honor them here," said Meggan Scavio, Event Director of the Game Developers Conference.

For more information about the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit its official website - and for information about the 2011 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official GDC site.

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