Riot Games' acclaimed online strategy title, League of Legends, received five awards at the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, presented at a ceremony this evening at GDC Online in Austin, Texas.
The inaugural event, which was hosted by Mindspark Interactive Network's Mike Goslin, is a 'for developers, by developers' awards show.
It brought together developers of persistent online games -- including social network games, free-to-play titles and large-scale MMOs - to celebrate the rich history, technical excellence and continued innovation in the arena of online games.
Leading the night with wins in five categories was Riot's standout 'multiplayer online battle arena' title League of Legends, which earned awards for Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design and New Online Game.
The title also took home the coveted Audience Award, which honors the favorite game of the worldwide game community, after over 120,000 total votes were cast - nearly 70,000 of them verified, with an honorable mention going to KingsIsle Entertainment's Wizard101, which was a runner-up with tens of thousands of votes.
Other Choice Online Award recipients include CCP, who received the Best Live Game award - honoring exceptional new content and player-facing interactivity through expansion packs, patches, or other updates - for its futuristic and engaging sci-fi MMO, EVE Online.
In addition, World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment received the award for Best Community Relations, honoring the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, and real-life events.
Other award winners include the hugely popular Social City by Playdom, which boasts almost 5.5 million active monthly users, and which won the award for Best Social Network Game. In addition, the audio visually lush and immersive Aion by NCsoft earned the award for Best Audio for an Online Game.
The Choice Online Awards acknowledged more than just games, honoring Richard Bartle as the recipient of the first ever Online Game Legend Award, in recognition of his indelible impact on the craft of online game development. Dr. Bartle will also present a lecture at GDC Online on Friday at 9:30 a.m. titled, "MUD: Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw's Astonishing Contrivance" covering the development history of the original MUD, which he co-developed.
Finally, seminal MMO title, Ultima Online, was recognized as the first Hall of Fame game, the award for the honor was accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, Launch Producer, Starr Long, Associate Producer & Director, and Raph Koster, Lead Designer, as well as a video message from 'Lord British' himself, Richard Garriott. The honor reflects the huge influence that the title has had as the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history.
The recipients of the First Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards are: