Richard Garriott to receive Spanish Academy's top honour

Spanish AIAS will present Ultima's creator with its Honorary Award at Gamelab Barcelona in June

The pioneering game designer Richard Garriott will be presented with the Spanish Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award at Gamelab Barcelona.

In receiving the Spanish Academy's most prestigious award, Garriott joins a select group that includes Hideo Kojima, Will Wright, Peter Molyneux and Hironobu Sakaguchi. Garriott is, of course, the creator of the Ultima franchise, a landmark in the RPG genre, and the founder of Origin Systems, Destination Games and Portlarium.

He is currently developing Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, a "spiritual successor" to his previous work, and the first of what Garriott anticipates will be a five-part series. The game is partially funded by the crowd, with around $3 million raised.

Garriott is also notable for his activities outside of the games industry, particularly his role in the emergence of commercial space travel. In 2008, he became only the sixth private astronaut to live on the International Space Station, and is an investor and board member in several organisations within the burgeoning industry.

Ivan Fernandez-Lobo, the founder and chairman of Gamelab Barcelona and former president of the Spanish Academy, called Garriott a "game-changer for the medium, and a source of inspiration for anyone with a creative soul, even beyond the industry's limits."

Garriott will be presented with the Honorary Award on June 29 at the Hesperia Tower Hotel in Barcelona. It will be the centrepiece of the Gamelab conference, which takes place in the city from June 28 to 30, where Garriott will participate in a Q&A session and give a masterclass on IP development.

For more information on Gamelab Barcelona, follow the link. will attend Gamelab Barcelona as an official media partner. Our travel and hotel costs will be paid for by the organiser.

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