August 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Simon Carless
[Another GDC Online-related endeavor, and I'm really proud of the way that these new online-game specific awards are spanning all of the field -- from the most core MMO to the new breed of social games, and even some indie oddness. Nominations below...]
The UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference Online (formerly GDC Austin), have announced the nominees for this October's first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, revealing that Riot Games' League of Legends is leading the pack, having been nominated for a total of five awards.
Other titles being honored with multiple nominations include We Rule (ngmoco), Champions Online (Cryptic), Dungeon Fighter Online (Nexon) and Nightclub City (Booyah) with three award nominations apiece.
The all-star list of nominees also includes nominations in new game and in-operation game categories for top companies like Blizzard (for World of Warcraft), Playfish (for FIFA Superstars) and Zynga (for Farmville and Treasure Isle).
The Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be held on the evening of October 7, 2010 as part of the 2010 Game Developers Conference Online (GDC Online), which is taking place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas October 5-8.
The Game Developers Choice Online Awards – a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which take place at GDC in San Francisco every year – is the first award ceremony honoring the accomplishments of the creators and operators of online games.
This includes categories around community support and continued innovation in the field with awards in audio, design, visual arts, among other categories. These categories are nominated and voted on by the game development community, with the distinguished GDC Online Advisory Board helping to pick the special awards.
The nominees of the Game Developer Choice Online Awards run the gamut of online titles, from expansive and hugely popular MMOs such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft, through addictive social network-based titles like Farmville by Zynga. The most honored nominee is Riot Games' critically acclaimed League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle-arena game that combines role-playing, strategy, and action elements to create a captivating online experience.
The complete list of nominees for the 2010 Game Developers Choice Online Awards are as follows:
(Those awards marked 'new' were eligible to games launching in North America in Open Beta or full version in the 12 months to May 2010, whereas the 'ongoing' awards are open to any game currently operating in the market. One additional category has yet to be decided – the Audience Award, which honors the favorite game of the worldwide online game community, will open in September.)
"The world of online gaming has expanded and evolved massively in just a few years, and those creators who have pushed the category forward deserve to be recognized for their creations," says Simon Carless, Global Brand Director, UBM TechWeb Game Network. "We're delighted to have set up the Game Developers Choice Online Awards to recognize these talented, sometimes underappreciated developers and honor the social past, present and future of the game industry."
The Game Developers Choice Online Awards will also be honoring landmark titles and deeply influential figures in the vibrant online gaming world with the Online Game Legend Award and the Hall of Fame award. This year, organizers will be presenting the Online Game Legend award to Dr. Richard Bartle, co-creator of the original MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), the seminal virtual world credited with pioneering online games over 30 years ago.
In addition, the Choice Online Awards organizers have also announced that Electronic Arts' Ultima Online – the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history – will be honored with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games at the ceremony. Both Bartle and key Ultima Online creators will be present for the ceremony, and will also be giving lectures at GDC Online itself on their work.
More information about the Game Developers Choice Online Awards is available at the official website for the GDC Online awards. GDC Online -- part of UBM TechWeb, as is this website -- takes place in Austin, Texas from October 5-8, 2010. Information about sessions and registration, which has a September 1th early deadline, is available at the GDC Online website.