In the Awards' second year, Three Rings Design's co-op RPG Spiral Knights leads with a total of four nominations. The title is followed by Trion Worlds' big-budget MMO Rift and social network titles FrontierVille (Zynga) and Ravenwood Fair (Lolapps), each of which earned three nods, showcasing the massive variety of online games nominated this year.
The two top prizes, Best Live Game and Best New Online Game, also see a huge diversity of entries, with veteran titles like Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft battling it out with Mind Candy's Moshi Monsters and KingsIsle's Wizard101 in Best Live Game, and Best New Online Game adding surging social network titles like Playdom's Gardens of Time to the mix.
The Game Developers Choice Online Awards are a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which takes place annually at GDC in San Francisco, and the ceremony will be held on the evening of October 12, 2011 during the Game Developers Conference Online (GDC Online), which takes place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas October 10-13.
Industry veteran and popular host Mike Goslin of Mindspark Interactive Network returns to present the "for developers, by developers" awards ceremony. Following community-led nominations, winners in all regular awards will be selected by the Choice Online Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN Online), an invitation-only group comprised of 400 leading game creators from all parts of the online game industry.
The complete list of finalists for the 2011 Game Developers Choice Online Awards are as follows:
BEST ONLINE VISUAL ARTS
BEST SOCIAL NETWORK GAME
BEST ONLINE GAME DESIGN
ONLINE INNOVATION (New Award Category)
BEST ONLINE TECHNOLOGY
BEST COMMUNITY RELATIONS
BEST AUDIO for an ONLINE GAME
BEST NEW ONLINE GAME
BEST LIVE GAME
**Voting for the Audience Award opens in September at www.GDCOnlineAwards.com
A category to watch this year is the Online Innovation Award, new category to the Choice Online Awards. Games nominated in this category have provided some of the most unexpected gameplay twists and turns - or business model surprises - in the online game industry over the last year.
As noted above, the nominees are Grey Area's Shadow Cities, which cleverly integrates real-life locations into a mobile social game, NimbleBit's Pocket Frogs, a free-to-play mobile game integrating ingenious breeding mechanics, EA2D's Dragon Age Legends, a viable core social game built out of a AAA property, Digital Chocolate's Zombie Lane, a crafty undead-filled twist on exciting social game genres, and finally, Empire Avenue, a title with built-in game mechanics to increase a player's social capital.
In addition, the Choice Online Awards will include two Special Award categories, celebrating iconic developers and games that have left an everlasting impression and shaped massive online games that are played worldwide.
Previously revealed, this year's Online Game Legend Award will be presented to John Taylor and Kelton Flinn, the founders of Kesmai Corporation and the creators of landmark online games such as Island of Kesmai and Air Warrior. The second persistent online game to be inducted into the Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame will be Sony Online Entertainment's beloved fantasy game EverQuest, a still-operating game which was one of the most important early 3D MMO titles launched.
More information about the Game Developers Choice Online Awards is available at the official website at www.GDCOnlineAwards.com. GDC Online takes place in Austin, Texas from October 10-13, 2011. Information about sessions and registration is available at www.GDCOnline.com. All GDC Online pass holders, including the Expo Pass, will have access to the awards ceremony.
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