Each year Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs organization presents their ACA Media Arts Festival, in which outstanding CGI, anime and manga works are recognized and honored for their achievements. At this year's show, Enix's Dragon Quest VII was named the grand prize winner in the Interactive Digital Art Division, marking the first time a video game has ever won the award.
The game's staff was in attendance to the March 12th award ceremony, which took place in Tokyo. Yuji Horii, the title's story writer and game designer, stated that "15 years have passed since I got involved with the series' development. It's incredible that the country awards game developers. My heart is full now!" As well, Koichi Sugiyama, the game's musical composer, said that he was "pleased with the fact that games have gained the same recognition level as other general arts."
The ACA Festival's Executive Committee stated that Dragon Quest VII's most highly valued aspects were in its fresh interpretation of the RPG concept. In an industry that is oriented towards mimicking reality, it presented an experience with true substance, not relying on flashy graphics or eye candy. In words of high praise, they said of the game, "It's the work that lets players rediscover the essence of RPGs with its high-quality story. Dragon Quest VII is a reaffirmation of what role playing games are all about."
Also of note is Sega's Shenmue, which received an Excellence Prize in the Interactive Digital Art Category. According to the ACA, each of these titles stand out as exemplary works in the gaming industry.