From Daily Famitsu:
Unfortunately Mr. Naka was in the US on the award’s presentation day.
The Association of Media in Digital in Japan has been holding their AMD Awards yearly to honor distinguished digital works that stand above the rest. This year, Sonicteam’s Yuji Naka, who produced Sega’s network RPG for Dreamcast Phantasy Star Online (PSO), received the Best Programmer Prize in the sixth annual AMD Awards.
AMD explained that they placed a high value on the fact that PSO is the first time a network game of that large a scale has been produced for a console system. In addition, its Word Select System, which allows gamers to use any of five languages, and still communicate easily with others, was also highlighted.
The award ceremony took place in Tokyo on February 1, but Mr. Naka was away in the US since it was also PSO’s release date in North America. To accept the award for Mr. Naka, Mr. Setsumasa (PSO’s main programmer), Mr. Sakai (PSO’s designer), and Mr. Miyoshi (PSO’s director) turned up the ceremony instead.
“Today (February 1) PSO hit stores in the US. The participation of non-Japanese gamers is sure to generate a much higher level of fun for all players. We’re also ready to beef up the servers to make sure everyone can just play away,” commented Mr. Setsumasa.
Incidentally, Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 2 received the Judges’ Special Prize for its sophisticated specs and its massive contribution to the growth of Japan’s formerly struggling DVD market.