Shuhei Yoshida, Head of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) Independent Developer Initiative and pioneer of the games industry, will be awarded the prestigious Fellowship at the BAFTA Games Awards on 30 March. The award, which recognises outstanding contributions to games, is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA to those who have driven positive change in the screen arts.
In 1993, Yoshida joined the PlayStation® project, promoting innovative games design and the role of independent developers, later becoming the President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment).
Shuhei Yoshida said “Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredibly talented teams who’ve developed some of the best games in the industry. I’ve always celebrated alongside these developers as their games have received well-deserved awards – it is an amazing honour for me to receive an accolade of my own.”
Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA, said “Shuhei Yoshida is a pioneer in the games world and is hugely deserving of a BAFTA Fellowship. His collaborative, supportive approach continues to drive progress within the industry, using his platform to promote the voices and craft of others and champion the work of independent designers, studios and creatives. We look forward to honouring his contribution to games at the ceremony on Thursday 30 March.”
Yoshida’s BAFTA Fellowship recognises him as a champion of independent developers. Through his personal social media presence and his corporate endeavours he has consistently nurtured the creativity and innovation of the indie games industry, and regularly champions indie games through podcasts, official PlayStation videos, and the wider games media.
Yoshida has been with Sony Interactive Entertainment from the beginning, and has overseen the company’s growth from a hardware and software developer to a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment.. In 1993, he helped launch PlayStation, Sony’s flagship gaming console.
As the President of SIE’s Worldwide Studios from 2008 until 2019, Yoshida was among those responsible for producing several wildly popular franchises such as UNCHARTED™, God of War™, The Last of Us™, Horizon Zero Dawn™, Ghost of Tsushima™, MLB: The Show™, Journey™, Bloodborne™, and six titles in the Ratchet & Clank™ franchise.
In 2019, Yoshida was chosen to head up Sony’s new Independent Developer Initiative to support independent developers in bringing their ideas to life through partnership deals and large-scale promotion, and to continue making game development accessible to smaller creators.
Fellows previously honoured for their work include Hideo Kojima, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Scorsese, Gabe Newell, Siobhan Reddy, Helen Mirren, Shigeru Miyamoto, John Carmack, Peter Molyneux, and Thelma Schoonmaker.
The award will be presented to Yoshida at the 19th annual BAFTA Games Awards on 30 March, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank, and livestreamed exclusively on Twitch .tv/BAFTA from 18.50 BST. The ceremony will be hosted by esports and gaming presenter Frankie Ward, and will feature a star-studded line-up of talent from the world of gaming and digital entertainment.