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Arakawa, Lincoln to be Honored by AIAS

December 19, 2006, 8:43 am PST
Total comments: 1

Former NOA executives to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 D.I.C.E. Summit.

Minoru Arakawa, Howard Lincoln First Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Science Pays Tribute to Pair Responsible

for Nintendo's U.S. Presence

CALABASAS, Calif., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Academy of Interactive Arts &

Sciences® (AIAS) announced today that former president of Nintendo of

America, Minoru Arakawa, and chairman emeritus of Nintendo of America,

Howard Lincoln, will be the first recipients of the newly-created Lifetime

Achievement Award at this year's Interactive Achievement Awards® (IAA).

The early work of Mr. Arakawa and Howard Lincoln in the building of Nintendo

of America has been instrumental in revitalizing the business after the

spectacular video game crash of 1983.

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 8, 2007 at the The Joint at the Hard Rock

Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the award will be presented to Arakawa

and Lincoln by Larry Probst, chairman and CEO, Electronic Arts.

"I am honored to present the AIAS Lifetime Achievement Award to Minoru

Arakawa and Howard Lincoln. Both are pioneers whose contribution to

Nintendo and to the game industry has had a profound impact on interactive

entertainment. These men personify the industry's highest ideals for

integrity, creativity and innovation," says Larry Probst.

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors those who have devoted their lives to

the advancement of the interactive entertainment industry and have made

significant contributions that have guided the business to the prominent

position it is in today as a booming entertainment industry with global

revenues topping $25 billion.

"The impact of the work done by Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln can still

be felt today," said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. "The creation of the

licensed publishing model, quality approval for third party games and

peripherals, and the fostering of innovative sales and marketing programs,

played a significant part of Nintendo's success then, and are at the

foundation of the consumer interactive entertainment business."

In 1980, Arakawa established Nintendo of America and became the company's

first president and held that position until his retirement in 2002. During

Arakawa's tenure as president, he worked closely with industry pioneers like

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda

video game franchises and the first person to be inducted into the AIAS'

Hall of Fame. Arakawa also oversaw the development and resurrection of

wildly popular franchises, including Donkey Kong and Pokemon, and with the

exclusive global licensing for the mega hit Tetris, provided the environment

for the successful launch of GameBoy.

With Lincoln's assistance, Arakawa successfully transformed the focus of

Nintendo of America from coin-operated games to console games when they

imported Nintendo's home entertainment console from Japan and christened it

the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Despite initial resistance,

Arakawa worked to persuade distributors to stock the console and games with

a money-back guarantee. The risks paid off, and in the decade following its

1986 release, the NES sold more than 30 million units in the US and had

almost a 90 percent market share.

"I wish I could say that when we took the first Nintendo machines to sell in

New York City in 1985 we knew we had a hit. But that was hardly the case,"

says Minoru Arakawa. "The fact that video games became popular so quickly

with tens of millions of people around the world is both gratifying, and

honestly, still a little amazing."

Lincoln, former chairman of Nintendo of America and current CEO of the

Seattle Mariners, has been involved in the video game industry since 1981;

when he was initially brought on to provide legal counsel to Nintendo.

After this initial exposure to video games, Lincoln became an advocate of

the industry and worked closely with Arakawa to convince retailers and

consumers alike about the potential of video games. In 1983, Lincoln joined

Nintendo as senior vice president and general counsel and was appointed

chairman in 1994. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Lincoln worked tirelessly

within Nintendo to bring video games to the mainstream and became a

prominent voice of the industry in the highly controversial congressional

video game violence hearings.

"There may be no other business where fortunes can change so quickly, and

that makes it great fun," says Howard Lincoln. "This is a pure

entertainment industry where you place big bets, rely on creativity and

reshuffle the deck every time a new generation of machines arrives."

The IAA will take place during the D.I.C.E. Summit 2007. Online

registration for D.I.C.E. is open now. Please visit www.dicesummit.org for

more information and to register to attend the interactive entertainment

industry event of the year. With compelling speakers and activities, the

D.I.C.E. Summit 2007 will be the talk of the industry.

Talkback

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusDecember 19, 2006

It's like antiques, you have to buy Arakawa and Lincoln as a set.

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