Ed Boon, the co-creator Mortal Kombat, will be inducted into video game’s hall of fame.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), the industry group that puts on the annual DICE Summit, said Boon will be inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame at the 25th annual DICE Awards ceremony during the summit on February 22 to February 24 in Las Vegas.
Boon is the chief creative officer at NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat. He co-created the storied Mortal Kombat and the Injustice franchises.
Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, will present the 2022 Hall of Fame award to Boon.
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“We are thrilled to have Ed be inducted into our Hall of Fame,” said Meggan Scavio, president of the AIAS, in a statement. “From his early work on pinball machines to his monumental achievements co-creating the Mortal Kombat franchise, Ed’s dedication and perseverance to the craft and art of games has left an incredible legacy for fans and game developers alike.”
After graduating from the University of Illinois, Ed Boon started his career at Williams Electronics programming pinball machines. He eventually moved over to the video game division where he worked on his first title, High Impact Football, and its sequel Super High Impact.
In 1991, he began work on Mortal Kombat, which became a smash hit in arcades and grew into a global phenomenon selling more than 75 million units to date, as well as spawning three feature films, animated movies, multiple television series, and comic books.
It was one of the most controversial games at the time, as its over-the-top violence shocked parents and legislators, but its content augured the notion that video games could be created for mature audiences with adults leading the charge in the market.
Today, Mortal Kombat continues to grow in popularity with each new release. In addition, Boon and NetherRealm Studios created the best-selling and critically acclaimed Injustice games, which have also branched out into chart-topping comics, an animated feature film, and mobile games.
“I met Ed on my very first day in the game industry at Midway and had the good fortune to watch him lead the creation of Mortal Kombat and work with so many talented people to grow it into an iconic, worldwide franchise,” said Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, in a statement. “Ed epitomizes the best of what a game designer can be: big ideas, a great sense of humor, clear focus, and the ability to bring people together as a team. He has created not only a string of hit games but has also supported countless people on their own paths in the game industry.”
The AIAS Hall of Fame honor is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry.
Past AIAS Hall of Fame recipients include Connie Booth (2020), Bonnie Ross (2019), Todd Howard (2017), Hideo Kojima (2016), Leslie Benzies (2014), Dan and Sam Houser (2014), and Tim Sweeney (2012).
The DICE organizers said that the event will be held in line with recommendations from public health authorities and to facilitate a safe environment, attendees and staff will be required to show proof of a U.S. FDA- or WHO-recognized vaccine against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test prior to the event.