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25th May 2024
Sam Lake Receives GamesBeat's Visionary Award 2024
[inc. Recording & Acceptance Speech Transcript]

The GamesBeat Summit '24 wrapped up in Los Angeles earlier this week, culminating in the Visionary Awards' half-hour presentation hosted by Leah Hardy, which celebrated some of the brilliant individuals in the games industry. 

Debuting in 2018, the GamesBeat Visionary Awards celebrate two individuals each year who helped move the industry in daring and exciting ways. The two awards presented are the Visionary Award and the Up-and-Comer Award, which are chosen by a panel of twelve judges from across the industry.

This year, the winner of the Visionary Award was Sam Lake (Creative Director, Remedy), with Kahlief Adams (Spawn on Me Podcast) winning the Up-And-Comer Award.

While Sam couldn't attend the summit in person, he recorded a thank-you message for the ceremony. His segment was introduced by Hector Sanchez (previously Head of Epic Games Publishing), who was positively overflowing with praise for his friend. "If you ever have the pleasure of getting to know Sam or talking to him, you've probably been disarmed by that great smile that he has, that knowing wink that he gives you that makes you feel like the most important person in the room," he beings early in his speech. "His impeccable sense of style and fashion that just makes you look at yourself and say "what am I doing with my life, and why can't I look this cool?" But underneath it all, it's just a great guy who loves to tell stories, and with that, I'm so proud to be able to do this introduction for the 2024 GamesBeat Summit Visionary Award to my really good friend, Sami Järvi."

You can watch the full presentation on YouTube below, or read VentureBeat's full report, HERE (archive). 

Sam Lake's Acceptance Speech

"Thank you, GamesBeat Summit, for this incredible honour. I feel very proud. I feel energised and eager to push on. I also feel like imposter syndrome flaring up. I kinda feel old. All of these things, I guess, at the same time. I want to thank everyone who, through these almost thirty years now, I've been fortunate to work with, people at Remedy and many others as well. It's one thing to have a vision you believe in, a story you want to tell, and ideas on how to create the experience; it's a whole different thing to have it be made concrete. Making video games is teamwork, it takes a large group of brilliantly talented people who take the vision, craft it into a game, and put their own spin to it. I'm here today, receiving this award very much because of the people I've been privileged to collaborate with through these years. So, thank you. 

"I started out as a writer. I see myself as a storyteller. I'm drawn to many different genres of stories and many different forms of storytelling. All these different mediums, forms of art; prose, poetry, song lyrics, 2D art, drawing, painting, comics, photography, live-action film, and yes, musicals. I love stories in all of these mediums. I'm excited to work in any of them alone, but I love writing, directing, acting, working and so on, in all of them. Maybe that makes me a dabbler, But video games are special in the sense that they can include all these forms as part of them. We are all used to experiencing art in all these different forms in our world, and they work just as well as part of the virtual world of the game, building a whole world, universe even, out of these fragments. And what's more, the unique aspect of games being interactive having the engaged player make choices on how to experience it. 

"It's been a long journey with these ideas and I feel lwe really got somewhere with this in Alan Wake 2, but I also feel we can still go a lot further. I strongly feel passion is an essential part of creation process. You need to feel to believe in the vision, and you need to be ambitious. Work on the edge of your abilities. I feel David Bowie said it well when he said that you need to go deep enough into the water so that your feet are not quite touching the bottom, to be in a place to create something interesting. And David Lynch is right in saying that in order to catch the big fish, the big ideas, you need to dive deep.. To have passion, I feel you need to create something of your own, something personal, something only you can do, you need to put yourself in it. Invent, experiment, be pulled, push it.

"The good news is that, as human beings, all of this comes naturally to us. Y'know, running into an obstacle is a good thing. Finding solutions forces you to be creative, and often, these solutions are the best things, things that you would have never found without the obstacle. The bad news is that when the project is big, and when there is a lot of money involved, people tend to get nervous. They want to minimize risk, make safe bets, and take away the interesting edges. In my opinion, this is a losing game; you need to stand out. The bolder ideas and the sharp edges are the treasure. If you go with the proven thing, copying what was the big hit yesterday, you can only always be in the second place. Copy of a copy of a copy, and well, then you are doing what they say AI will be soon doing, just copying what's already out there. And then, I guess, we're not in it at all. But that's not where the heart and the soul and beauty and emotion and deeper thoughts and art is. Thank you."

-- CONSOLE & PC GAMES --

The Crossfire Series

The Control Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series

Additional

-- MOBILE GAMES --

-- LIVE ACTION SERIES --

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