We’re excited to announce the winners of the GamesBeat Summit 2021 Visionary Awards. The Visionary Award went to Laura Miele, the chief studios officer at Electronic Arts; and the Up & Comer Award went to Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda, a content creator and streamer.
Tammy McDonald, the CEO of Axis Game Factory/Heavy H20, was our host for our fourth annual Visionary Awards event at the close of our summit. The GamesBeat Visionary Awards started in 2018 as a way to honor game industry leaders who showed real vision for the future.
Our past winners for this award include Rand Miller, the cofounder of Cyan and co-creator of Myst; Ted Price, the founder of Insomniac Games; and John Smedley, the studio head at Amazon Game Studios San Diego. Our panel of judges included past winners such as Miller, Price, Smedley, and Eve Crevoshay of Take This. Other judges included me, Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat, and Don Daglow, a game developer, author, senior director for strategic partnerships at the Strong, and president of the AIAS Foundation.
Geoff Keighley, the creator of The Game Awards, gave the honor to Miele. Keighley surprised Miele by introducing a couple of her good friends and colleagues from years past: Vince Zampella (CEO of Respawn Entertainment) and Brett Sperry (a cofounder of Westwood Studios), who offered their support for Miele.
We also presented our second annual Up & Comer Award to Zinda. Our past winner for this award was Crevoshay of Take This. This award honors someone who is a rising voice in the game industry. It isn’t based on age or experience. Rather, it recognizes that the biggest potential of the honoree lies ahead of them.
Alanah Pearce, a streamer and a writer for Sony Santa Monica, presented the award to Zinda. Zombae started her content creation journey on Twitch a little under a year ago. She has since moved into a leadership role for promoting community curation and digital inclusion in conjunction with activism and charity in games. As the founder of the Radically Kind Gamers, she hopes to continue to help promote kindness the industry.
Crevoshay of Take This wrote about Zinda: “I was very pleased to vote for ZombaeKillz because my work with her has impressed me so much. She is an excellent spokesperson for kindness, persistence, resilience, and humor on Twitch, and has been responsible for some excellent ‘firsts’ in gaming.”
In her emotional acceptance speech, Zinda said she was figuring out all of the ways she can be radically kind in a world that hates you, as she has experienced as a Black woman.
GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties