League of Legends tops Game Developers Choice Online Awards

Riot Games wins five categories including Best New Online Game and Audience Award; Ultima Online receives first spot in the Hall of Fame; MUD creator Dr. Richard Bartle honored.


AUSTIN, TEXAS--As the Game Developers Conference Online reached its apex Thursday night, the event's organizers held the inaugural Game Developers Choice Online Awards. Like the Choice Awards held during the flagship Game Developers Conference in February, this counterpart show was devised to let the creators of online entertainment laud each other.

League of Legends cast a spell on the GDC Online Awards.
League of Legends cast a spell on the GDC Online Awards.

While dozens of games were honored, online game creators were apparently quite taken with Riot Games' League of Legends. The free-to-play hybrid of real-time strategy and role-playing games took home five awards for the night, including the Best New Online Game category. It even won the Audience Award, narrowly edging out Wizard101 from Austin-based Kingsisle Entertainment. The only category in which League of Legends was nominated but failed to win was Best Live Game, an honor claimed by EVE Online at the expense of other high-profile competitors like World of Warcraft and Farmville.

While League of Legends dominated the awards, it had to share the spotlight with a pair of online pioneers. The first was Ultima Online, which was named as the first inductee into the GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame. Original Ultima Online developers Rich Bogel, Starr Long, and Raph Koster were on hand to mark the occasion, with each offering a few words of thanks and appreciation for all the players and developers who have touched the game over the last 14 years.

"I remember bringing my baby daughter into the office in a baby carrier to work on the game," Koster said. "She's a teenager now and doesn't want to talk to me."

Long offered specific thanks to former Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst for signing a $100,000 grant approval on the back of a napkin to get the project started and to the player who assassinated the Lord British character during the game's beta phase, making it clear who was really in charge.

The other pioneer honored was Dr. Richard A. Bartle, who received the Online Game Legend Award. One of the original designers of the massively multiplayer online game predecessor MUD (multi-user dungeon), Bartle said he was honored, thrilled, humbled, and surprised to receive the award.

"I guess the reason I won it is because most of the other people who could've won it are on the nominating committee, and of the remaining ones, I'm closest to death," Bartle joked.

Most award categories were for games launched in beta or full versions between May 2009 and May 2010. Nominees for Best Live Game--which honors currently operating titles--had to have launched in North America at least 12 months prior to May 2009 and distinguished themselves with exceptional new content since then. Nominees in the Best Community Relations and Audience Award categories only needed to be currently operating.

Categories and Nominees (Winner in italics)

Hall of Fame inductee
Ultima Online--Electronic Arts

Online Game Legend honoree
Dr. Richard A. Bartle

Best Online Technology
Champions Online--Cryptic Studios
Global Agenda--Hi-Rez Studios
League of Legends--Riot Games
Love-Quel Solaar

Best Social Network Game
FIFA Superstars--Playfish
NanoStar Siege--Digital Chocolate
Nightclub City--Booyah Inc.
Social City--Playdom
Treasure Isle--Zynga

Best Online Visual Arts
GodFinger--Wonderland Software/ngmoco
League of Legends--Riot Games
Star Trek Online--Cryptic Studios
Love--Quel Solaar

Best Audio for an Online Game
Champions Online--Cryptic Studios
Music Pets--Conduit Labs
Nightclub City--Booyah Inc.
We Rule--Newtoy/ngmoco

Best Community Relations
EVE Online--CCP
Free Realms--Sony Online Entertainment
Guild Wars--ArenaNet
Wizard101--Kingsisle Entertainment
World of Warcraft--Blizzard Entertainment

Best Online Game Design
Champions Online--Cryptic Studios
Dungeon Fighter Online--Neople/Nexon
League of Legends--Riot Games
We Rule--Newtoy/ngmoco
Zoo Kingdom--Blue Fang Games

Best Live Game
EVE Online--CCP
Dungeon Fighter Online--Neople/Nexon
League of Legends--Riot Games
World of Warcraft--Blizzard Entertainment

Best New Online Game
Dungeon Fighter Online--Neople/Nexon
FIFA Superstars--Playdom
League of Legends--Riot Games
Nightclub City--Booyah Inc.
We Rule--Newtoy/ngmoco

Audience Award
League of Legends--Riot Games
First runner-up: Wizard101--Kingsisle Entertainment

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Avatar image for nord1c

Great game guys, I started in March 2010 and I'm still playing it almost every day. Way more fun than Heroes of Newerth as well.

Avatar image for Quietpower09

In my opinion, League of Legends is by far one of the best online RPG's I've ever played. The maps are equally balanced, few champions are a little overpowered, teamwork is required to achieve victory, and lastly it is FUN. If I were to go back in time, I would nominate and vote League of Legends as Game of the Year of 2009.

Avatar image for Nowayouthere

game is GOOD and FREE what else do u need? :D

Avatar image for Ladiesman17

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for Gage540

I really love the game play of LoL. Getting 5 friends together to play is an awesome experience. However, the community is pretty terrible as a whole. I've seen some 12 year old calling someone gay or yelling racial slurs at them in almost every game i've been in.

Avatar image for Arkinhas

I play LoL Everyday and I must say its an awesome, teamplay and addictive game. Its a free to play game with lot of variety, even though there are only 2 maps, you have plenty of fun. a 6.0 its a very unfair review. They don't give that score to DotA because its a part of Warcraft III, DotA it's a simple map not a game, League of Legends changes everything. And, of course, you can see the actual score (8.3) reviewed by the players...

Avatar image for Voredor

no DOTA?

Avatar image for hellgothx145

i play this game more often then warcraft 3 and LOL is fun seriously its fun! :)

Avatar image for N0tYrBeezin

"I guess the reason I won it is because most of the other people who could've won it are on the nominating committee, and of the remaining ones, I'm closest to death," Bartle joked. I love Bartle already with this line of his.

Avatar image for Krelian-co

seriously? LOL? seriously?

Avatar image for Pete5506

LoL is pretty fun, and its free

Avatar image for Merl57

@ksg017 Review scores are static they do not reflect that dynamic Service that you get from an MMO. Staffs can quadruple post release and once the core audience is figured out that is where the real game is made. Review scores should fall into two categories: 1. Release Review (state of game at launch) 2. Multiple scores based on time (monthly, yearly, or whenever patches take place) These reviews should have both game critiques and people with industry credibility alongside with community opinion. This way there is feedback directly from game players and the game developers can use this to make the game better.

Avatar image for ksg017

Shows how much review scores really mean. Gotta love that gamespot gave league of legends a 6.0 but in side note stated they reviewed a bought version. Game is great. a personal 9 in my book.

Avatar image for aonekaraoke

Great game to play shame the online comunity act so hostile to new players.If your trying this game out have some broad shoulders .

Avatar image for ryuz4kee

@master_zidane I agree with you 100%, there is a lot of hate for XIV (along with XIII for that matter, and I absolutely loved XIII). I just think since they are called Final Fantasy people have unrealistic expectations.

Avatar image for scar4ever

Just started playing it today and I'm totally addicted. Best F2P game I've ever played.

Avatar image for master_zidane

Please, keep your mind open for FFXIV, and don't let this be the final review, its fine for the time being but it should be under revision!

Avatar image for master_zidane

So, is Gamespot going to reconsider their review or what?

Avatar image for master_zidane


Avatar image for TzarStefan

LoL Best game ever! play it 24/7 hehe

Avatar image for Kewl_guy

I don't know about best tech. though there servers have had so many issues lately.

Avatar image for karnis

not surprising the game is awesome

Avatar image for GrimGravy

awesome game happy for riot.

Avatar image for dragonballzmanx

@skanky So a game asking it's loyal user base to vote for a game they obviously like playing is "shameless" Yeah...sorry..but no. LoL is a game that will only continue to grow in both features and players. HoN is a dying game, especially with Valve's DotA coming out.

Avatar image for dragonballzmanx

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for XxSkankyxX

Sad that LoL had to shamelessly promote themselves on their forums to win. HoN is a far better game if your looking for a DoTa successor. Shame it didnt even get a mention.

Avatar image for kyle_360

the trailer above does make it look shhiittyy

Avatar image for kyle_360

this game is amazing and addictive

Avatar image for valent1n

@Baritu i really do not know why they overrated this one too.....

Avatar image for valent1n


Avatar image for Gruug

Just my first impression but from the movie above LoL looks like a game that a six year old might like. Beyond that, not too interesting.

Avatar image for Baritu

sucks that gamespot gave it a 6.0. AHAHAA

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd

The fact that any games by Cryptic are nominated for any of these awards makes it hard for me to take them seriously. If Cryptic is putting out award nominated, much less winning, products in this genre, then this genre needs some help.

Avatar image for Kleeyook

LOL won! :lol: And yet GS reviewed it and gave its score so poorly. The reviewer even forgot to mention it's free. :(

Avatar image for Morf_uni

LoL is OK, but not great. It have suffered from so many glitches and bugs that i don't really see how it deserved so many awards. It's a good game alright, but with so many problems, some of which it still suffers from, i don't see how it could pull home so many awards. But that's just my opinion, Wizard 101 deserved to win the audience award, extremely few bugs (if any?), virtually no lag, pleasant colour pallet, solid gameplay, so on so on. How LoL pulled home best online tech, i'll never know. My 2 cents.

Avatar image for pudgexd

Such a shame I got being ip banned :( Can't wait for it to be out in SEA again. Really enjoyed the moments of playing and progressing levels even with 200 ping lag

Avatar image for Kh1ndjal

LoL is, hands down, the best free 2 play gave ever. with well over a thousand completed games, i have spent over 100 USD on it, and i can confidently say that spending money has no gameplay advantage whatsoever (you do look cool with skins though) because, well, skins are skins. well deserved, riot games.

Avatar image for Shardz7

It's too bad Diablo ]|[ isn't on that list! *cough*

Avatar image for vikingo79

Me parece muy bien que League of Legend este muy bien rankeado, felicitaciones Riot Games las caracteristicas que dotaron al juego lo hacen muy adictivo.

Avatar image for Poodger

I just started playing this game about 3 months ago, and it is a blast, and its fun to see it get more and more popular ever since I found out about it. And the promise of dozens of more champions, and new levels on the horizon make it even sweeter.

Avatar image for s4dn3s5

It's not bad, but like HoN, not as good as Dota.

Avatar image for _distemper

""I remember bringing my baby daughter into the office in a baby carrier to work on the game," Koster said. "She's a teenager now and doesn't want to talk to me." " Uh... ok.

Avatar image for Gammet25

Go League of Legends!!!! Step aside Dota.

Avatar image for BlackaliciousX

@Charliesix you mean adding snow doesn't constitute a whole different game play experience as compared to the other seasons?!?! Seriously, congrats to League of Legends! Despite some obvious short comings, Riot's dedication to their fans and a commitment to constantly improve on an already great game deserves recognition!

Avatar image for BornGamer

Yeah, LoL is a great game, but it's a free to play indie game so Gamespot gave it a 6.0. Shame it didn't cost $60 with a big name publisher behind it. It probably would have got a 9.0.

Avatar image for Charliesix

League of Legends is a great game and deserves to win many awards. Wish there were a couple more maps to play on though :-P

Avatar image for herodotus2006

"Aion" did well in the awards. Shame that success doesn't translate into the harsh realities of the MMO gaming world. Good news for Riot Games, but personally I found LoL a bit too repetitive in the beta stage. Might have to revisit it.