GDC Online Awards To Honor Best Social Games, F2P, MMO Titles

Organizers of this October’s GDC Online conference (formerly known as GDC Austin) have announced that they will host the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, to recognize the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the arena of online games.

The new awards ceremony will honor the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of persistent online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. The awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more.

In addition, two special awards will honor outstanding individuals and games in the space, with the Online Game Legend Award being given to a person who’s changed the world of online games forever, and one particular all-time classic online game being inducted into the GDC Online Awards’ Hall Of Fame.

After award finalists are announced, the worldwide community of online game players will also have the opportunity to designate their favorite online game in the Audience Award category.

Nominations are now open, and game professionals with free Gamasutra.com user accounts can put forward their favorite online games for the awards. The GDC Online Awards are a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which take place at GDC San Francisco every year.

The award categories and this year’s Special Award winners will be determined by the GDC Online Advisory Board. This group includes notables like BioWare Austin’s Gordon Walton, Metaplace’s Raph Koster, Playfish’s Sebastien De Halleux, and Nexon’s Min Kim.

Winners for the Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be selected by a specially selected subset of the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). This is the same group of over 500 handpicked leading industry creators that pick the Game Developers Choice Awards winners at GDC in San Francisco every year.

The full list of categories for the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards include:

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GDC: Uncharted 2 Wins Big At 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards

Naughty Dog’s critically-acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the big winner at the 10th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, presented at a ceremony this evening at UBM TechWeb Game Network’s 2010 Game Developers Conference (GDC), receiving a total of five awards, including Best Writing and the coveted Game of the Year award.
Another major honoree, 5th Cell received the award for Best Handheld Game and the Innovation Award, for its creativity-fueled portable game, Scribblenauts. Zynga, creators of the wildly addictive and popular Facebook game, Farmville, received the honor for Best New Social/Online Game, marking the first winner for this inaugural category.
Other winners include Rocksteady Studios’ dark and gritty adventure, Batman: Arkham Asylum, which won for Best Game Design. The Best Debut Game went to Runic Games’ Torchlight. The Best Downloadable Game award went to thatgamecompany’s Flower, marking the second such award for the developer, following their win in 2008 with fl0w.

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Carmack Gets Lifetime Achievement Honor At 2010 Choice Awards

The 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards, the highest honors in video game development, will bestow John Carmack, the technological patriarch and co-founder of id Software, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the art and science of games at GDC this year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career and achievements of developers who have made an indelible impact on the craft of game development, as Carmack has done for his more than two decades of groundbreaking technical contributions, and his role establishing the first-person shooter genre with landmark titles like Doom and Quake.
The recipient is chosen by the elite Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes game industry notables such as Ben Cousins (EA DICE), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Metaplace), John Vechey (PopCap), Ray Muzyka (BioWare), Clint Hocking (Ubisoft), and many others.
Former Game Developers Choice Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Sid Meier, Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright – who will be presenting the award to Carmack at the ceremony on March 11, 2010 during Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco – and other legendary game creators.

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2010 Game Developers Choice Awards Open For Nominations

Organizers have announced that the 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards, the most prestigious honors in the world of video game development, are now open for nominations through Jan. 4, 2010.
In its tenth year of honoring the best games and developers, the Game Developers Choice Awards — the leading awards voted on by developers, and created for developers — has adopted a new voting methodology.
Nominations – as always – are selected by any game professional worldwide, simply by submitting ballots via the Game Developers Choice Awards website. (Submitters are required to log in with a Gamasutra.com username and password so professional developer status can subsequently be verified.)
Category finalists and Special Award winners are selected by the 20 person-strong Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, including notable industry veterans from Harmonix, Valve, PopCap, Ubisoft, BioWare, and more.
Starting this year, winners are now being selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is a new invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.
Choice Awards organizers believe that, in tandem with their goal of having the most focused, impartial awards in the game industry, this additional voting transparency will further boost the awards’ reputation.
The 2010 award categories are open for nominations to any member of the video game community until January 4th, combining both Regular and Special Award nominations, are:

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Game Developers Choice Awards To Air On G4 Tonight

Video game-oriented television network G4 will exclusively broadcast Game Developers Choice Awards highlights on U.S. television tonight at 6:30 and 8:00 PM ET.
The awards originally took place Wednesday, March 25 during Game Developers Conference 2009 in San Francisco.
G4’s program X-Play, featuring host Adam Sessler — and billed as “the most watched video game series on television” — will air a half-hour highlights show of the proceedings beginning this evening.
The Game Developers Choice Awards, which G4 also showed highlights from in 2008, will repeat its TV airing on this special X-Play episode on Monday, April 13 at 1:00 PM ET, and on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 8.00pm ET.
The awards production features Double Fine Productions founder and veteran game designer Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Psychonauts) presiding over the evening once again – he previously hosted the 2007 Choice Awards.
More information on scheduling for upcoming episodes of the show is available at G4’s TV schedule page.
[UPDATE: All times for the show are ET only, not ET/PT – in addition, G4’s video page has footage from the episode now available.]

Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet Reign Supreme At Choice Awards

Bethesda Softworks’ epic post-apocalyptic open-world adventure, Fallout 3, received the Game of the Year Award at the 9th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, presented at a ceremony this evening the 2009 Game Developers Conference. Bethesda also received the Best Writing award for the game.
Media Molecule’s imaginative user creation-centric platform game LittleBigPlanet, which was first unveiled at GDC 2007, was the recipient of the most awards of the evening, taking four awards for Best Game Design, Best Technology, Best Debut Game and Innovation Award.
Other winners at the Tim Schafer-hosted event included Ubisoft’s hauntingly beautiful update of the Prince of Persia franchise, which won the prize for Best Visual Arts, and Ready at Dawn’s portable action-adventure, God of War: Chains of Olympus, winner of the Best Handheld Game award. EA Redwood Shores’ shocking horror title, Dead Space, won the prize for Best Audio award.

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G4 To Broadcast 2009 Game Developers Choice Awards

Gaming-oriented television network G4 will exclusively broadcast the 9th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards on U.S. television, G4 and conference organizer Think Services announced today.
The awards take place Wednesday, March 25 during Game Developers Conference 2009 in San Francisco. G4’s program X-Play, featuring host Adam Sessler — billed as “the most watched video game series on television” — will air the proceedings on Friday, April 10 at 6:30 PM.
As recently revealed by Think Services, this year Double Fine Productions founder and veteran game designer Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Psychonauts) will once again preside over the evening. Schafer previously hosted the 2007 Choice Awards.

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2009 Game Developers Choice Awards Honor Kojima For Lifetime Achievement

The 2009 Game Developers Choice Awards, the highest honors in game development acknowledging excellence in game creation, will honor Hideo Kojima with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s ceremony taking place at the Game Developers Conference next month.
Kojima is Corporate Officer, Executive Producer and Director of Kojima Productions and creator of the seminal Metal Gear series, and the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career and achievements of developers who have made an indelible impact on the craft of game development.
Renowned as one of the world’s most influential contemporary game developers, Hideo Kojima first decided to get involved in the game development business while studying economics.

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LittleBigPlanet, Braid, Left 4 Dead Lead Game Developers Choice Award Finalists

Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet leads the nominees for the ninth annual Game Developers Choice Awards with seven nominations, organizers have revealed.
Number None’s Braid follows closely with five nominations. Among the nominations for LittleBigPlanet is the coveted Game of the Year award.
Other nominees for that category include Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, each of which received a total of four award nominations; Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto IV, which earned a total of three nominations; and Lionhead Studios’ Fable 2. Winners will be honored at an awards show taking place during the 2009 Game Developers Conference.
The two leading nominees are celebrating a homecoming of sorts with their nominations for the Choice Awards. Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet made its debut during a keynote lecture at the 2007 Game Developers Conference, while Number None’s Braid was winner of the Innovation in Game Design award at the 2006 Independent Games Festival (IGF), which is also part of the Game Developers Conference.
Produced and hosted by Think Services’ Game Developers Conference and presented by Gamasutra.com and Game Developer Magazine, the Game Developers Choice Awards honors the developers of the best video games released during the previous calendar year, as well as awarding key figures from the video game community.
Other multiple nominees for this year’s event include such diverse and notable titles as EA Maxis’ Spore, 2D Boy’s World of Goo, Kojima Productions’ Metal Gear Solid 4, Epic Games’ Gears of War 2, and Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 2. The complete list of nominees is:

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2009 Choice Awards Names Ambassador, Pioneers, Schafer As Host

The 2009 Game Developers Choice Awards, the highest honors in game development acknowledging excellence in game creation, have named the recipients of two of its special awards, while also revealing that popular host of the 2007 Awards and Double Fine founder Tim Schafer is returning to present this year’s Choice Awards.
Harmonix co-founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, co-developers of a groundbreaking decade-plus long line of music games culminating in the Rock Band franchise, will receive the Pioneer Award for their work.
In addition, Tommy Tallarico, co-founder of the Video Games Live concert series and founder of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), will receive the Ambassador Award for helping to advance the game audio community.

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