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3rd Annual
Game Developers Choice
Online Awards


Welcome to the Game Developers Choice Online Awards, the premier award ceremony honoring the accomplishments creators and operators of online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. Awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more.

2012 Winner & Nominees

In addition to the Online Game Legend Award and the GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame, Choice Online Awards are given in the following categories. These particular categories will be both nominated and voted on by the development community.

Best Online Game Design

The Best Online Game Design Award honors the overall excellence of design in an online game that launched in public beta or full version in the year to May 2010. This category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.

 


Best Online Visual Arts

The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.

 


Best Community Relations

The Best Community Relations Award honors the currently operating online game that provides the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, real-life events, and other community outreach.

 


Best Online Technology

The Best Online Technology Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.

 


Best Social Network Game

The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network, such as Facebook or MySpace, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.

 


Best Audio for an Online Game

The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.

 


Best New Online Game

The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games.

 


Best Live Game

The Best Live Game Award recognizes the best currently-operating online game -- distinguishing itself by releasing exceptional new content through expansion packs, patches, or other updates in the 12 months to May 2012, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.

 


Online Innovation Award

The Online Innovation Award honors one particular online game that shows key aspects of innovation in the fast-expanding online games space - a title that pushes the game design and social boundaries of how we play video games online against others.

 


Audience Award

The Audience Award honors the favorite game of the worldwide online game community. Members of the public will be able to vote on their favorite currently operating online game, with options from the Game Developers Choice Online finalists and beyond. Voting for the 2012 Game Developers Choice Online Awards “Audience Award” category closed on September 14, 2012.

 

  • WINNER: League of Legends (Riot Games)



  • 2012 Special Award Recipients

    These two special honors, selected by the Game Developers Choice Online Awards advisory committee, will be presented at the ceremony.


    Online Game Legend Award

    The Online Game Legend Award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.


    Raph

    Raph Koster has led a prolific career. As the lead designer on Ultima Online and the creative director on Star Wars Galaxies, his contributions helped lay the foundation for the many massively multiplayer games that followed. Koster's professional credits span nearly every facet of game development, including writing, art, soundtrack music, programming and design.

    Raph Koster is considered a thought leader, as a frequent lecturer and published author on topics of game design, community management, storytelling and ethics in game development. His A Theory of Fun, published in 2004, is considered seminal by educators and members of the art game movement, as well as being one of the most popular books ever written about games.

    In his youth, Koster taught himself programming on an Atari 8-bit computer that he used to create the first game he ever sold, to a fellow classmate. His early professional years include work on the award-winning multi-user dungeon LegendMUD, which he later parlayed into a position as lead designer on the seminal MMORPG Ultima Online. Koster's varied interests in writing, art and graphic design served him well when he joined Sony Online Entertainment in the role of creative director on Star Wars Galaxies, a game praised for its lush graphics, authentic movie-based soundtrack, expansive in-game world, customization options and sophisticated gameplay mechanics.

    After serving as chief creative officer at Sony Online Entertainment, Koster established his own firm, Metaplace, a software platform developer for social worlds and the company behind popular Facebook games Island Life and My Vineyard. In 2010, Metaplace was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group's online social development arm, Playdom, where Koster currently serves as vice president of creative design.



    GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame

    The GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame recognizes a specific online game that has resulted in the long-term advancement of the medium, pioneering major shifts in online game development and games as a whole.


    WoW

    World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
    This year's Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame inductee, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, was released in November 2004, 10 years after the launch of the company's venerable Warcraft franchise (1994's Warcraft®: Orcs & Humans™). Now regarded as a legacy in its own right, the game has dominated the MMORPG landscape, setting the standard for countless other games in the genre.

    With its focus on delivering a polished player experience, World of Warcraft propelled MMORPGs into the mainstream. The game offered the community a reprieve from long load times and steep learning curves, which only made the colorful graphics, engaging gameplay, exciting quests and raids and immersive world more impressive.

    As the title nears its eighth anniversary, World of Warcraft remains one of the top-rated PC games of all time and continues to thrive globally with a massive and passionate subscriber base. With three released expansion packs since launch and a fourth, Mists of Pandaria™, around the corner, World of Warcraft is one of the most profitable and popular entertainment franchises in history, a pop culture fixture that is sure to transcend generations. Members of the Blizzard Entertainment World of Warcraft team will be on stage to accept the Hall of Fame award.


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    Wednesday, October 10, 2012
    Austin Convention Center

     

    Missed the 2012 awards ceremony?
    Watch the video here.






    Questions? E-mail questions@gdconlineawards.com