Fun & Serious, the largest video-game festival in Europe, from 8 to 11 December

Fun & Serious, the largest video-game festival in Europe, which will be staging its seventh edition from 8 to 11 December, has announced the first of the Honorary Awards it will be presenting this year. The recipient is John Romero, the multi-award-winning American designer and developer, who, throughout a professional career that stretches over four decades, has not only been responsible for bringing us iconic games such as “Wolfenstein 3D”, “Quake” and “Doom”, but has defined the most recognisable features of the genre known as first-person shooter games with his unique style and creative contributions.

The traditional Awards Presentation Gala, to be held at its traditional venue in the Guggenheim Museum, will thus recognise the career and achievements of one of the key figures in video-game history, one of the members of the Cyber Elite, according to Time Magazine[1]. Since he began his career back in 1979, John Romero, a self-taught expert, has set up eight successful companies that have played a key role in the industry (including id Software and Gazillion Entertainment), has designed and brought to market no less than 130 games and has received more than one hundred prizes and awards. Due to his special approach and unique style, certain concepts have become compulsory within the action genre, such as the “death match”, the classic fight to the death in the multi-player action video game. Furthermore, in magazines such as Retro Gamer, he has helped to promote the dissemination and scientific study of video-game history and dynamics.

Fun & Serious seeks to recognise his contribution in terms of laying the creative and narrative foundations of an entire action genre, not to mention his iconoclastic and irreverent contribution, one that has helped to invigorate the industry as a whole. He is a tireless devotee of video-game design and mechanics. The Festival also aims to highlight his profile as a patron, promoter and entrepreneur within the industry.

John Romero is married to the developer and writer, Brenda Romero (one of the 10 key names in the industry according to Gamasutra), with whom he co-founded and currently co-runs Loot Drop and Romero Games.

Alfonso Gómez, the Head of the Fun & Serious Festival, has declared, “we are proud to welcome a figure of the stature of John Romero amongst our award-winners this year, a true legend as both a creator and an entrepreneur. With his unmistakeable style and ongoing dedication to video-games, his presence in Bilbao alongside many other prestigious personalities, enhances the role that the Festival currently plays within the video-game world: today the Fun & Serious Game Festival is an international point of reference and an obligatory event for fans, professionals and investors within the industry.”

In addition to his attendance at the Awards Presentation Gala, John Romero has confirmed his participation at the VIT Talks, a series of talks by leading experts on video games, innovation and trends presented within the framework of the Festival.

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 recognise the importance of an industry that expects to generate some 4.6 billion dollars in profits during the year 2017, reaching an audience of more than 665 million users.

BILBAO |  Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Palace of Euskalduna and Bilbao City Hall
From 8 to 11 December 2017

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. Last year, more than 25,000 people attended the different activities at the festival in Bilbao.
The event’s mission is to recognise 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.
The Fun & Serious Game Festival enjoys the support of the Basque Regional Government – SPRI, Bilbao City Hall and the Provincial Council of Biscay. It is sponsored by BBVA and El Correo. The event’s strategic partners include Microsoft, PlayStation and Ubisoft. The Festival features the collaboration of the Spanish Video-Games Association (AEVI), UTAD, Virtualware and Digipen.

[1] TimeMagazine, 1998.