The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that Will Wright will be inducted into the BAFTA Fellowship at the 2007 British Academy Video Games Awards, the highest honour it can bestow on an individual.
Wright, best known as the creator of The Sims series of games, will be the first member of the videogame industry inducted into the Fellowship, which until now has been reserved for film and television luminaries. The award is the result of BAFTA’s recognition of the “massive impact” of videogames on popular culture and their contribution to the “art form of the moving image.”
“Will’s immense, creative body of work and his continued contribution to the industry make him a most worthy recipient of the Fellowship,” said Hilary Bevan Jones, chairman of the Academy, “and being such a pioneer, we are thrilled that he will be the first person to receive this honor.”
Wright’s first game, 1984’s Raid on Bungeling Bay, was well received but quickly overshadowed by his next effort, SimCity. Released in 1989, SimCity spawned an entire franchise of Sim-games, culminating in The Sims, which is credited as the best-selling PC game of all time. Currently he is working on the life-simulation game Spore.
The 2007 British Academy Video Games Awards will be held on October 23 in London.