The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences will be honoring former Nintendo executives Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln with the academy's first Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions in pioneering the 25 billion a year video game industry.

GameDaily has the scoop: "Since the work of both Arakawa and Lincoln in the building up Nintendo of America contributed to breathing life back into the video game business after the notorious crash of 1983, both men are certainly deserving of the award. 'The impact of the work done by Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln can still be felt today,' noted Joseph Olin, president, AIAS."

Arakawa is credited for establishing Nintendo of America back in 1980 and served as its first president until he retired in 2002. Lincoln, an attorney ninja and together with Arakawa, brought the NES to America and closed the exclusive Tetris distribution deal with the Soviet Union, a move that would eventually lead to Nintendo's handheld dominance through today. Also, both men helped pitch the profit potential of video games to investors in the 80s, an obviated need in today's landscape. We tip our hats and raise our controllers like flaming Zippos, gentlemen.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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