Fun & Serious, the largest video game festival in Europe, today announced that it will recognize Blizzard Entertainment’s Jeff Kaplan with an Honorary Award at its 7th annual event, taking place from 8 to 11 December in Bilbao, Spain. Kaplan is being recognized for his career and achievements that include work on two of the most successful video game franchises—as game director of Overwatch®, Blizzard’s first-person shooter with more than 35 million players worldwide, and former game director of World of Warcraft®, the company’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
During the traditional Awards Presentation Gala at the Guggenheim Museum, Fun & Serious will not only recognize the importance of Kaplan’s career and achievements, but also the significant role Blizzard Entertainment has played in the industry—responsible for some of the most epic, entertaining, and successful games in history, including the Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® series.
Kaplan joined Blizzard as part of the World of Warcraft team in 2002 as one of the first two quest designers. He played a vital role in developing the game’s vision and overall direction, eventually becoming game director. In 2008, he moved to a new development team at Blizzard as lead designer on an unannounced project. In the wake of that project’s cancellation, he led the team toward the concept and design for a new game, Overwatch, which was released to global acclaim in 2016.
Alfonso Gómez, head of the Fun & Serious Festival, says: “Presenting an award to a figure like Kaplan—both in his capacity as a creator and leader at the company he represents, Blizzard—is a cause for considerable pride and reflects the key role that Fun & Serious plays as a worldwide point of reference for the video game industry.”
In addition to his attendance at the Awards Presentation Gala, Kaplan will take part in VIT Talks—a series of talks led by experts on video games, innovation, and the latest trends, which will be organized within the framework of the festival and will bring many influential names from the industry in contact with the public.
Over the last seven years, the Fun & Serious Festival has become a key meeting forum for the industry, based on the aim of raising video game creation to the status of an art form, much like the realms of film and music. In this respect, it seeks to recognize the importance of an industry that expects to generate some $4.6 billion USD in profits in 2017, reaching an audience of more than 665 million users.
About the Fun & Serious Game Festival
The Fun & Serious Game Festival, to be held from 8 to 11 December in Bilbao, is the largest video-game festival in Europe and a key meeting-point for the industry as a whole.
The event’s mission is to recognize and promote the work of video-game producers, directors, artists and developers, based on a comprehensive program of conferences, roundtables, networking and activities, aimed at both companies and the general public. As is customary each year, the Festival will conclude with an exclusive Grand Prize-Winning Gala for the best video-games of the year.