Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney enters AIAS Hall of Fame

Unreal.

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is to be the newest member of the notable AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences) Hall of Fame.

Sweeney's name will rank alongside the likes of Nintendo icon Shigeru Miyamoto, id Software mastermind John Carmack, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime and Sims creator Will Wright.

The AIAS acknowledged Sweeney's "technical innovations" in Unreal Engine, which powers many of today's biggest games, as well as his work on the Unreal Tournament and Gears of War series of games.

He's the nerdy backbone of Epic Games, in other words. The posh term for this is technical director.

"Tim's vision has changed the face of gaming with the advent of the Unreal Engine and the commitment of Epic, as a studio, to bring both consumer and industry-facing technology to new heights," said AIAS president Martin Rae.

Sweeney receives his AIAS 2012 Hall of Fame Award in February. Colleague Mark Rein, Epic Games vice president, will present him with it.

"I've had the pleasure to work alongside Tim Sweeney for nearly 20 years," Rein said.

"Tim's sense of fairness and doing what's right, not just for Epic but for the industry as a whole, is also what makes him so admired among the people who know him.

"I am very proud to call him my friend and mentor, and am thrilled that I will be able to present this well-deserved award to him. I wish everyone in the industry could know Tim as I do."

Sweeney founded Epic Games a hundred years ago in 1991. Back then he made games like ZZT and Jill of the Jungle. And he also put together the first version of Unreal Engine.

That fledgling foray into engine middleware is a far cry from today's Unreal Engine 3, middleware champion of this, the seventh video game generation.

Today, Tim Sweeney concentrates on Unreal Engine 4 - a technology that could shape the next decade of big-budget video games.

A last word on the AIAS Hall of Fame: "The AIAS Hall of Fame is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry."

Last year's AIAS Hall of Fame inductees were BioWare doctor bosses Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.

What the next generation of Unreal Engine may do.

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