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GDC Awards to honor Yoko Shimomura, Fawzi Mesmar

The game composer whose career began in 1988 will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award

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The Game Developers Choice Awards organizers announced this year's recipients for its two special categories, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Ambassador Award.

This year's Lifetime Achievement will be granted to Yoko Shimomura, while the Ambassador Award will be given to Fawzi Mesmar.

Yoko Shimomura

The award organizers recognized Shimomura's career as a long-time composer who began her career in 1988. During her early years in the games industry, she worked at Capcom, creating music for titles such as Street Fighter II, Final Fight, and The King of Dragons.

In 1993, Shimomura joined Square Soft (now Square Enix), and during her tenure, she went on to be known for composing soundtracks for the Kingdom Hearts series, Final Fantasy franchise, and titles such as Parasite Eve. Her most recent music credits include Super Mario RPG and Live A Live.

Fawzi Mesmar

Meanwhile, Fawzi Mesmar's career spans over two decades, as he's worked at various AAA studios. Throughout his work history, he's been a principal game designer at Gameloft. Mesmar served as studio director of production and game design with King.

He also had a two-year stint as head of design at EA's DICE division, and in 2021, Mesmar joined Ubisoft as vice president of global creative. His game credits include Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Battlefield 2042, and the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws.

"We are so proud to honor Yoko Shimomura and Fawzi Mesmar for their multiple decades worth of contribution to the crafts of art and making games," said Informa Tech event director Stephenie Hawkins.

"Not only have they created enduring works in the medium, they've also carved a path that allowed others in their fields to thrive and succeed. Their success is measured not just in their singular accomplishments but in the ways they've inspired the works of other aspiring composers and designers around the world."

The awards ceremony is set for March 20. It will take place during the Game Developers Conference in conjunction with the Independent Game Festival awards at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

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Jeffrey Rousseau

Staff Writer

Jeffrey Rousseau joined GamesIndustry.biz in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.