SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Game Developers Conference Online® (GDC Online, formerly GDC Austin) will host the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards at its market-leading game conference, to recognize the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the arena of online games. Building on the success of over 10 years of producing the highly respected Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC in San Francisco, the UBM TechWeb Game Network is proud to produce an awards show specific to the accomplishments in online games, taking place at GDC Online in Austin, Texas this October.
The award ceremony will honor the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of online video games – from large-scale MMOs and 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. The worldwide community of online game players will also have the opportunity to designate their favorite online game in the Audience Award category.
Initial information, including the submission page for nominations -- with all game development professionals holding a Gamasutra.com user account open to nominate -- is available at the official website www.GDCOnlineAwards.com. The Game Developers Choice Online Awards will take place on the evening of October 7, 2010 during the four-day GDC Online event in Austin, Texas.
The award categories and this year's Special Award winners will been 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 picked 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.
"With the explosive growth of online games, we're delighted to recognize and honor all the great work that's being done in the space," says Simon Carless, Global Brand Director, UBM TechWeb Game Network. "And there's no better place than GDC Online in Austin, Texas to award all the amazing, innovative work in online game development – from Facebook games through the top MMOs - that's pushing the whole game industry forward."
The full list of categories for the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards include:
General Award Categories:
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.
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.
The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 - including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.
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.
The Best Online Technical Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.
The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network such as Facebook or MySpace in open beta or full version in the year to May 2010, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.
The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 - including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.
The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games that launched to the public in open beta or full versions in the twelve months ending May 2010.
The Best Live Game Award recognizes the best currently-operating online game - distinguishing itself by that exceptional new content through expansion packs, patches, or other updates in the last 12 months, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.
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.
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.
More information about the Game Developers Choice Online Awards is available at the official website for the GDC Online awards, www.GDCOnlineAwards.com. GDC Online takes place in Austin, Texas from October 5-8, 2010. Information about sessions and registration is available at www.GDCOnline.com.
About the UBM TechWeb Game Network
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the UBM TechWeb Game Network – formerly known as the Think Services Game Group - offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, the Game Developers Conference™ Canada, Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.
About UBM TechWeb, a division of United Business Media
UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology. Through its core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and professional information – UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands, applications and services in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs, IT and IT Support managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software and Game developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively participate in UBM TechWeb's communities. UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Game Developers Conference (GDC), Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; large-scale online networks such as InformationWeek, Light Reading and Gamasutra; research, training, and certification services, including HDI, Pyramid Research, and InformationWeek Analytics; and market-leading magazines such as InformationWeek and Wall Street & Technology. UBM TechWeb is part of UBM, a global provider of media and information services for professional B2B communities and markets.
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