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.