Eiji Aonuma, co-creator of Zelda video games, named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters

The Minister of Culture chose to distinguish this Japanese man at the head of this famous Nintendo license since the end of the 1990s.

After Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario), Michel Ancel (Rayman) or Peter Molyneux (Populous), the order of the Knights of Arts and Letters will welcome a new video game creator. The Ministry of Culture indicated to Le Figaro that Minister Rima Abdul-Malak has decided to distinguish the Japanese Eiji Aonuma, producer of the Zelda series (Nintendo). This announcement is made on the sidelines of the 2023 edition of the Paris Games Week trade show, which the minister is due to visit this Thursday. The date for the presentation of the distinction has not yet been set.

Aged 60, Eiji Aonuma began working on the Zelda action adventure game saga in the late 1990s. He was co-director of the episodes Ocarina of Time (1998) and Majora’s Mask (2000) before becoming director for The Wind Waker (2002), then producer of the series from 2007.

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The popularity of the saga reached new heights in 2017 with the release of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, sold to date 30 million copies. This adventure of Knight Link and Princess Zelda had a direct sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, marketed in May 2023 and sold 18 million copies in less than 6 months. In France, this game sold 500,000 copies in a weekend. According to Nintendo Francethe million copies sold have since been exceeded, without taking into account purchases in digital format.

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Other video game personalities have already been distinguished by the State. Julie Chalmette, general director of Bethesda France, received the insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2019, as did Audrey Leprince, co-founder of the studio The Game Bakers, and Rebecka Coutaz, vice-president of the Swedish studio Dice (owned by Electronic Arts) and former director of the Ubisoft Annecy studio, in 2022.

French video game pioneer Muriel Tramis(Au, Méwilou, Freedom…) received the Legion of Honor in 2018. In 2021, the latter awarded the medal of the National Order of Merit to Jehanne Rousseau, founder and director of the French studio Spiders.

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