Rules & Regulations

Below are the rules and regulations for the Game Developers Choice Online Awards. For questions or more information, please contact us.

Special Award Nominee Eligibility

Nominees for the Special Awards (Online Game Legend, Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame) are not eligible if they have previously won a Special Award in the GDC Online Awards.

Regular Award Nominee Eligibility

Unless otherwise noted, eligible titles are persistent online video games which were initially released in Beta or full version June 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012 in North America

International Choice Award Network – Online division

Nominees and winners in all regular awards will be selected by the Choice Online Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN Online), which is an invitation-only group comprised of 400 leading game creators from all parts of the online game industry. ICAN Online members are not permitted to vote for their own products.

Nomination Costs

The Game Developers Choice Online Awards are about peer recognition and rewarding excellence and innovation in online games. There are no fees or costs associated with making nominations.

Special Award Nomination Process

During the nomination period, ICAN members may submit their nominations. Nominations for the same game or person in different categories are allowed. You cannot nominate the same game in the same category more than once - any duplicate submissions will be ignored. The Advisory Committee and editors will help select the winners for each category.

Regular Award Finalist Selection Process

Once the nomination process closes, the Advisory Committee and editors will help select the five finalists in each category. Though the committee has some minor discretion to add its own nominations, the list of games nominated during the open process will largely inform and inspire their selections. The winners of the Regular Awards are then voted by the final voting body, the ICAN Online body.


Special Award Finalist Selection Process


The winners for the Online Legends and Hall of Fame awards are also determined by the Advisory Committee, who vote independently on the winners of each category using approval voting.

Award Recipients/Attributions

The game with the most votes in a category receives the given award. Award categories are attributed in the following manner:

  • Best Online Game Design: creative director, lead designer
  • Best Online Visual Arts: art director, lead artist
  • Best Community Relations: Community Manager, Customer Service Reps
  • Best Online Technology: tech director, lead programmer
  • Best Social Network Game: studio head, studio founder, lead designer
  • Best Audio for an Online Game: audio director, audio designer
  • Best New Online Game: lead designer, executive producer, studio head
  • Best Live Game: Community Manager, QA team
  • Online Innovation Award: creative leads

Further, each nominated game will be listed with the development studio and publisher company names. For example: Best Game ActionFest2 (DeveloperX/PublisherY) - John Smith, Mary Jane, Joe Johns

Nominated games must provide the names of the developers assuming the above roles. If developer names are not provided, the game will be disqualified and replaced by another finalist.

The recipients for the Online Game Legend Award and the GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame are determined by the Choice Awards Online Advisory Committee. These special awards are presented to the individuals or representatives of the games being recognized.

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