Bruce Shelley To Enter AIAS Hall Of Fame

Illustration for article titled Bruce Shelley To Enter AIAS Hall Of Fame

Bruce Shelley - the nice man who helped bring you Civilization, Railway Tycoon, Age of Empires and other classics - is to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall Of Fame.


Shelly got his big break working with Sid Meier at Microprose - culminating in the production of Civilization, which has eaten up so much of my time that I should probably go along to the ceremony at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit (February 18th in Las Vegas) and either thank him personally or serve him with a writ.

Does anyone know if there is an actual Hall of Fame - as in an actual building? Do inductees get to hang out there and sip cocktails? All this and less is revealed in the full press release, after the jump.


CALABASAS, Calif. – December 4, 2008 – The Academy of Interactive Arts &
Sciences (AIAS) has announced that Bruce Shelley will be the 12th inductee
into the Academy’s Hall of Fame. Shelley is the preeminent game designer,
who assisted Sid Meier in bringing the award winning Civilization and
Railroad Tycoon to the world, and later the Age of Empires strategy games
with Ensemble Studios. These games are long considered some of the greatest
games of all time.

PC Gamer named Shelley one of the 25 Game Gods in 1999, and in 2002, GameSpy
named him the 8th most influential person in gaming.

The Hall of Fame Award will be presented by Tony Goodman, founder of
Ensemble Studios, at the 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards®, hosted
by actor, comedian and avid video game player, Jay Mohr, and will take place
during the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit on Thursday, February 18, 2009 at the Red
Rock Resort in Las Vegas.

As one of the organization’s highest honors, candidates are annually voted
on by the Academy’s prominent Board of Directors, of which Bruce Shelley
served from 2000-2006. Induction into the Hall of Fame is bestowed upon
individuals who’ve contributed a significant advancement within the industry
while demonstrating proven success and leadership.

Bruce Shelly has been collecting board games his whole life, and estimates
he has over 500. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse
University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
simultaneously, and then studied economics in graduate school at the
University of Virginia. But his interest in games won out over academics.

In 1980, he joined friends from the UVA game club to form a role-playing
game company called Iron Crown Enterprises, acquiring the license to make
games based on The Lord of the Rings. After a brief period at Simulations
Publications in New York, Avalon Hill became his next stop, designing a
variety of games including 1830 and Titan.

In 1988, Shelley made the transition to computer games, joining Microprose.
After working on a variety of projects, including F-19 Stealth Fighter, he
was assigned to work with Sid Meier as his producer/assistant designer. They
collaborated on Railroad Tycoon, Covert Action and Civilization.
Civilization was one of the most important marks in the videogame industry
when it was released in 1991.

In 1995, while freelance writing, having five strategy guides published,
Shelley joined another friend from the UVA game club, Tony Goodman who had
just started Ensemble Studios. Shelley helped the new studio establish its
development processes and principles, and created the hugely successful Age
of Empires series, which to date has sold more than 20 million copies
worldwide. He has traveled the world acting as a spokesman for Ensemble
Studios and its games, and as a guest speaker at numerous conferences.

Tony Goodman states, “Bruce has always been at the center of the gaming
universe. He sprang onto the scene at Avalon Hill and SPI designing board
games that would become the models for modern videogames. He was a central
figure at Microprose working on one of the most defining products of the
industry’s early years, and he was the Godfather of Ensemble Studios
presiding over Age of Empires, which is one of the most influential
franchises of today’s mature videogame industry.

Ensemble Studios, is a Microsoft owned development studio, and has Halo Wars
coming out in 2009.

Shelley will join an elite group of 11 other interactive entertainment
industry luminaries in the AIAS Hall of Fame: Trip Hawkins (Electronic
Arts), Peter Molyneux (Lionhead Studios), Yu Suzuki (Sega), Will Wright
(Maxis), John Carmack (id Software), Hironobu Sakaguchi (Square Enix), Sid
Meier (Firaxis Games), Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo), Richard Garriott (origin
Systems), Dan/Danielle Bunten Berry (Ozark Landscape), and Michael Morhaime
(Blizzard Entertainment).

Mr. Shelley humbly states “I am deeply honored to receive this award. I
believe it also honors my colleagues over the years at Microprose and
especially Ensemble Studios, from whom I have learned so much. I am very
grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and hope that in return
I have given something back to this great industry.”

About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences:
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a
not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of
the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance
common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community;
recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and
conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance
awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide
a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community.

In 2002, the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate,
Entertain) Summit, a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring
approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely
apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy also
oversees Into The Pixel, a juried exhibition of art from games, and this
year started the Randy Pausch Scholarship fund for students in the games
industry. The Academy has more than 15,000 members from the games industry.
Publishers such as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, as well as
developers Bioware/Pandemic, Day One Studios, Epic Games and Insomniac
Games. More information can be found at and

About the Interactive Achievement Awards:
The Interactive Achievement Awards® are the only peer-based awards that
recognize the year’s best video games, computer games, online entertainment,
outstanding individuals and groundbreaking development teams that have
propelled the advancement of the multi-billion dollar worldwide
entertainment software industry. The awards presented by the AIAS are
determined by a vote of field-specific, qualified Academy members, making
the Interactive Achievement Awards the most sought-after, respected and
credible recognition for creators of entertainment software.

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My Dad got addicted to Civ on the SNES back in the 90's. Was very amusing for me at the time, since because of that, he lost track of time and missed a doctor's appointment. This was extremely uncharacteristic for him. (Always Mr. Punctual he was, and still is. Even showed up to stuff early, usually.)

The game was just a rental however, so the addiction was short-lived. ;)