AUSTIN, TEXAS — Oct. 12, 2011 —Trion Worlds’ Rift and Mojang’s Minecraft received top honors with two awards each at the second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards ceremony, presented this evening at UBM TechWeb Game Network’s Game Developers Conference® Online (GDC Online).
In addition, popular free-to-play game Wizard101 by local developer KingsIsle Entertainment earned the Audience Award, granted to a persistent online game that is voted upon by the worldwide online game community, after the contest received over 170,000 verified votes from players.
The annual event brought together developers of large-scale MMOs, social free-to-play titles, and mobile network games to celebrate the accomplished history, technical excellence and continued innovation in the online games space.
Trion Worlds’ 2011 entrant Rift was honored with the top award as Best New Online Game, following its successful launch earlier this year; the title also took home the award for Best Online Technology. In addition, breakout sandbox building game Minecraft, by Mojang , won the prestigious Best Live Game award, along with the award for Best Community Relations.
Additional Choice Online Award recipients include Sony Online Entertainment’s, MMORPG DC Universe Online, winning for Best Online Visual Arts, and top nominee adventure game Spiral Knights, which won out for Best Online Game Design . The Online Innovation award, a new category to the Choice Online Awards, was presented to Grey Area for Shadow Cities, a mobile MMO game which cleverly integrates real-life locations into gameplay.
The Online Game Legend award was presented to the creators of Island of Kesmai, John Taylor and Kelton Flinn. These two recipients were chosen for their achievements as game creators who have made a permanent imprint on the craft of developing online games and for having provided a launch pad for many other accomplished developers’ careers for nearly 20 years.
The game inducted into the Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame, Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest, is now in its twelfth year of continuous operation. The fantasy MMORPG title launched in March 1999, and was one of the first games to introduce the concept of guilds and raiding within an online world.
The complete list of recipients for 2011 Game Developers Choice Online Awards are:
BEST ONLINE VISUAL ARTS
· DC Universe Online (Sony Online Entertainment)
BEST SOCIAL NETWORK GAME
· Gardens of Time (Playdom)
BEST ONLINE GAME DESIGN
· Spiral Knights (Three Rings Design/Sega)
· Shadow Cities (Grey Area)
BEST ONLINE TECHNOLOGY
· Rift (Trion Worlds)
BEST COMMUNITY RELATIONS
· Minecraft (Mojang)
BEST AUDIO for an ONLINE GAME
· Clone Wars Adventures (Sony Online Entertainment)
BEST NEW ONLINE GAME
· Rift (Trion Worlds)
BEST LIVE GAME
· Minecraft (Mojang)
· Wizard101 (KingsIsle Entertainment)
ONLINE GAME LEGEND
· John Taylor and Kelton Flinn (creators of Island of Kesmai)
HALL OF FAME
· EverQuest (Sony Online Entertainment)
“We’re so happy to be back again honoring the world’s best online games," said Simon Carless, EVP, UBM TechWeb Game Network. “Once again, this year’s award winners represent a massive range of genres and studios, from social network titles through core MMOs, and we’d like to congratulate all the nominees and winners on their sterling work.”
The second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, a sister event to GDC's notable annual Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco, is the premier award ceremony honoring the accomplishments of the creators and operators of online games.
This year, industry veteran Mike Goslin of Mindspark Interactive Network returned to host the “for developers, by developers” awards ceremony. All awards, with the exception of the Audience Award, Hall of Fame and Online Game Legend, were selected by the Choice Online Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN Online), an invitation-only group composed of 400 leading game creators from all parts of the online game industry.
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, 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. Visit www.jointhegamenetwork.com
About UBM TechWeb
UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology. Through its three core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and paid content – UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM TechWeb’s communities and information resources monthly. UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading. UBM TechWeb is a UBM plc company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion. Visit: www.ubmtechweb.com