The BAFTAs will award their prestigious Fellowship to Shuhei Yoshida for his PlayStation contributions and support of indie developers.
The Game Awards may have come and gone (until this December) but the likes of God Of War Ragnarök and Elden Ring still have some opportunities to add more trophies to their shelves at the BAFTA Game Awards.
The ceremony is taking place on March 30, so it’s too soon to tell who’ll go home with any of the awards (though God Of War Ragnarök has strong odds, thanks to a record-breaking 14 nominations), but one individual is already confirmed to be going home with an award.
Shuhei Yoshida, a veteran of the games industry and the PlayStation brand, will receive a BAFTA Fellowship, the highest accolade the academy can bestow upon someone for their contributions to the ‘art forms of the moving image,’ be they films, television, or, of course, video games.
If you somehow don’t recognise the name, you will have definitely felt Yoshida’s influence if you’re a PlayStation fan. Yoshida has been part of the PlayStation brand since its inception in 1993 and, in 2008, became president of what is now known as PlayStation Studios, a position he held for 11 years.
A lot of you will remember him as being part of the famous ‘PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video’ from 2013.
Said video quickly went viral for being a direct, tongue-in-cheek response to Microsoft’s unpopular decision to restrict usage of second-hand games on the Xbox One, something the company quickly walked back on as a result.
After stepping down in 2019, and passing his position onto Herman Hulst, Yoshida became the head of Sony’s new Independent Developer Initiative, which focuses on ‘celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences for the gaming community.’
Essentially, he supports third party indie studios and ensures they have what they need for their games to flourish on PlayStation, be it with development tools and/or partnership deals.
Yoshida has been passionate about supporting smaller creators and this serves as a major contributing factor for why he’s receiving a Fellowship.
‘Yoshida’s BAFTA Fellowship recognises him as a champion of independent developers,’ says the academy.
‘Through his personal social media presence and his corporate endeavours he has consistently nurtured the creativity and innovation of the indie games industry, and regularly champions indie games through podcasts, official PlayStation videos, and the wider games media.’
Yoshida is not the first member of the games industry to receive such an honour. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima was awarded a Fellowship in 2020, and he was preceded by the likes of Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Valve’s Gabe Newell.
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