Music industry trade journal Billboard on Thursday announced the finalists for the first annual
Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards, to be held Nov. 5 in Los Angeles. The publication noted that the 26 categories involve games, music, film, television and video, with recognition of “the cutting-edge developments and forward thinkers shaping the future of entertainment.” Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is up for Visionary of the Year — pitting him against HDNet chairman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Real Networks chairman and CEO Rob Glaser and Sim City and The Sims designer Will Wright — while his company will vie for Innovator of the Year, Brand of the Year and Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service.
Apple received the Innovator of the Year nod for iTunes and will compete against Bram Cohen, creator of the file downloading utility BitTorrent; Dr. Richard Marks and Sony Computer Entertainment America, for a PlayStation 2 game called EyeToy that’s similar to Freeverse Software’s ToySight; and Hugh Panero and XM Satellite Radio Inc., for the XM satellite radio service.
In the Brand of the Year category, Apple shares the spotlight with EA Sports, developer of Madden Football and other sports games created for PCs and consoles; cell phone company Virgin Mobile; and XM Satellite Radio. Finally, the Best Music Service category sees the company vying for the award against Musicmatch on Demand, Napster and Real Networks’ Rhapsody.
Mac gamers may be interested in hearing that BioWare Corp. and Lucas Arts’ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is up for PC or Console Game of the Year, Unreal Tournament 2004 has a spot in the Multiplayer Game of the Year category and DOOM III and True Crime: Streets of LA were nominated for Best Use of Sound in a Game, with DOOM III also snagging a Game Innovation of the Year nod. Aspyr Media is the publisher of Knights of the Old Republic and True Crime: Streets of LA on the Mac while MacSoft serves in the same role for Unreal Tournament 2004. Developer id Software has confirmed that DOOM III is headed for the Mac, but the publisher is unknown at this time.
BioWare Corp., Maxis (The Sims and Sim City) and UbiSoft Montreal (Myst IV: Revelation) were nominated for Game Developer of the Year.