The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences will present Apple’s App Store with a Technical Impact award for its overwhelming influence on the industry.

We take it for granted now, but when Apple first released the App Store it was a pretty big deal. It allowed third-party developers to release software that didn’t require jailbreaking a phone, and provided an official platform where apps were guaranteed to meet hardware and content guidelines. And while Apple has faced its share of App Store criticisms, it’s proven hugely successful, paying $25 billion to content creators. For these reasons, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences will present its first Technical Impact Award to Apple’s App Store at the 18th D.I.C.E. Awards.

“When we set out to expand the scope of how the Academy celebrates industry achievement, we made a decision to concentrate on significant contributions in technological innovation,” president of AIAS explained Martin Rae explained. “The App Store represents Apple’s commitment to delivering the seamless marriage of devices and services – democratizing content distribution and allowing anyone to become a publisher. The technological impact of the App Store is felt by consumers and professionals every day.”

Looking back, the App Store practically started from humble beginnings. Apple founder Steve Jobs never wanted an App Store in the first place, thinking Web 2.0 HTTP services were all smartphone users would need. When Apple finally released the App Store for the second-generation iPhone, it only featured 500 apps but accumulated 10 million downloads in its first week. (In case you were wondering, the App Store now has over 85 billion downloads combined.)

“We are honored to be selected for the first ever AIAS Technical Impact Award,” Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak said. “We could never have imagined the impact the App Store would have today. This award is a testament to all of the hard work our teams have put in, and to the amazing apps that our incredible developer community have created over the years.”

The Technical Impact Award will be presented by Dr. Michael Capps of the AIAS Board of Directors on Feb 5, 2015 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Resort and Casino Las Vegas.

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