Rare founders Tim and Chris Stamper will be honoured as Development Legends at this year's Develop Industry Excellence Awards, which take place in Brighton, UK on July 15th.

The Stampers established Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd in 1982, the company that would eventually become Rare. One of the UK's most famous game creators, Rare worked alongside Nintendo during the NES, Game Boy, SNES, N64 and GameCube eras, crafting such classics as Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads, Jet Force Gemini, GoldenEye 007 and Banjo Kazooie.

Microsoft purchased the company outright in 2002 for $375m. The studio - based in Twycross, England - is now a wholly-owned Microsoft developer.

Tim and Chris left Rare in 2007 to pursue other interests. Tim recently founded mobile studio FortuneFish with his son, and has also taken to Twitter, posting up concept art for Rare games.

The Develop Awards acknowledge the work of European games studios, global technology partners and service companies and run alongside the Develop conference. Previous winners of the Development Legend award include Mark Cerny, Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein, David Perry, Peter Molyneux, David Braben, Charles Cecil, Phil Harrison and Ian Livingstone.

Develop's publisher Michael French had this to say:

Tim and Chris are the ultimate games development legends. Although we herald a modern era of self-published games from small teams, Rare under the guidance of The Stampers set this trend back in the early 1980s. More importantly: all of their creations champion and focus on fun, enjoyment and memorable characters - laughing in the face of business models or the demands of gritty triple–A games. We look forward to presenting this award to them and celebrating this legacy on July 15th.

Tim will be present to collect the award.

[via mcvuk.com]