At the German Game Developer’s Awards (Deutscher Entwicklerpreis) a “Special Award of the Jury“ was given to Volker Wertich, to honor his contribution to the development of games in Germany.
Volker Wertich is a self-taught game designer and programmer. He started his career at the age of 14 in 1983, writing small games for Disk-Magazines. And went on to start two strategy game series Germany is famous for: The Settlers and SpellForce. During his 30 years in the industry he has designed and developed more than 20 games and expansions from start to finish.
A recurring theme in his work is innovation, especially the innovation of strategy games. Volker singlehandedly invented a new genre with ‘The Settlers’. That was followed by the international smash hit SpellForce, the first to create a meaningful blend of RTS and RPG and he developed the first free-to-play RTS with BattleForge.
’Regardless of which criteria you apply, be it sold games, revenue or awards’, Teut Weidemann said in the laudation, ’Volker Wertich is one of the most successful game designers in Germany, possibly the most successful.’
Volker Wertich accepted the Award with the words: ’I am very honored. I’m glad that I could do my part to aid the rise of german game development during the last ten years.’
This is no ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, the ‘Special Award’ is given only to persons or organizations making a difference in active business. It’s the same with Volker Wertich: He recently founded a new development studio named Envision Entertainment with Dirk Ringe, Boris Kunkel and other veterans of EA Phenomic. The studio is focused on persistant online strategy games on PC and mobile plattforms.