Uncharted 2 leads GDC Award noms

Naughty Dog's acclaimed action adventure scores seven nods; fellow GOTY hopefuls include Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Demon's Souls.

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For this year's 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, show-runner Think Services has already confirmed Valve Software cofounder Gabe Newell as a winner. The man behind such acclaimed franchises as Half-Life and Left 4 Dead will receive the Pioneer Award due to his innovative work on Valve's digital delivery service, Steam. As for the rest of the GDCAs, Think Services this week announced award categories and nominees for the March show.

Win or lose, Nathan Drake is walking out with the statue.
Win or lose, Nathan Drake is walking out with the statue.

Naughty Dog's lauded Uncharted 2: Among Thieves scored the most nominations for this year's ceremony with seven, one of which is for Game of the Year. While it isn't up for the top honor, Thatgamecompany's placid Flower received five nominations, while Ubisoft's Renaissance-era action adventure Assassin's Creed II picked up four nods.

Beyond Uncharted 2 and Assassin's Creed II, other Game of the Year nominees include BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins and Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Asylum. From Software's unforgiving role-playing game Demon's Souls, which was awarded GameSpot's 2009 Game of the Year, is also among the Game of the Year contenders.

Event organizers have added one new category this year: Best New Social/Online Game. The category accommodates a variety of alternative gaming platforms, including Facebook and free-to-play online games. Inaugural nominees include Zynga's Farmville, Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms, and PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz.

The 10th Annual GDCAs will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Game Developers Conference, which takes place March 9-13 in San Francisco. The awards ceremony will be held on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Moscone Convention Center. GDCA organizers have yet to announce a host for the event, though Double Fine's Tim Schafer has filled the role for the past two years.

10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards nominees:

Game of the Year
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Demon's Souls (From Software)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Game Design
Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft Montreal)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld Game
Flight Control (Firemint)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Rockstar Leeds/Rockstar North)
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo EAD)
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)

Best Visual Art
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Borderlands (Gearbox Software)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Technology
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Killzone 2 (Guerrilla Games)
Red Faction: Guerrilla (Volition)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Writing
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Brutal Legend (Double Fine)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Halo 3: ODST (Bungie)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Audio
Brutal Legend (Double Fine Productions)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Rock Band: The Beatles (Harmonix)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Innovation
Demon's Souls (From Software)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Uncharted 2 (Naughty Dog)

Best Debut
League of Legends (Riot Games)
The Maw (Twisted Pixel)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)
Torchlight (Runic Games)
Zeno Clash (ACE Team)

Best Downloadable Game
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
PixelJunk Shooter (Q Games)
Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment)
Trials HD (RedLynx)

Best New Social/Online Game
Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap)
Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
Farmville (Zynga)
Free Realms (Sony Online Entertainment San Diego)
Restaurant City (Playfish)

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