The Best MMOG Stuff of 2006
Dec 22, 2006 18:45:39

Yet another best of 2006 list from VirginWorlds. The categories are self-explanatory.

MMOG Industry Person of the Year:

Jeff Strain, Arena Net
As far as MMOGs go, this has been Jeff Strain's year. The former team lead and lead programmer on World of Warcraft (also worked on WC3 and StarCraft) founded ArenaNet in 2000 and has released 3 Guild Wars titles in the past 2 years. Guild Wars recently crossed the 3 million mark in sales and in 2006 was easily the most noteable commercial success. Sure WoW has all the glory, but Jeff has provided a game with all the polish and gameplay of WoW without taxing our wallets on a monthly basis. Jeff's business partners Mike O'Brien and Patrick Wyatt easily deserve as much credit as Jeff, but Jeff has been the face-man for Guild Wars in 2006. You can't open a game mag or visit a MMOG website these days without seeing a Jeff Strain interview.

MMOG Blogger of the Year:

Van Hemlock:
This was easy. Van Hemlock routinely kicks out articles covering everything from Eve Online to Second Life. There's no such thing as reblogging or simple link posts on Van Hemlock, instead it is wall to wall original content of incredible quality and consistency. If only all of us could have as many solid blog posts and tantalizing ideas as Van Hemlock.

MMOG Podcaster of the Year:

Alachia from WoWCast:
Very very difficult category for me. This year saw many podcasts fade away and many new ones spring up. Should I pick based on consistency, professionalism, exclusive content or comedy value? Ultimately, I chose the one that makes me think the most. Alachia is the most engaging and charming MMOG podcast host of 2006. No other podcaster loves her game, guildmates, and lifestyle as much as Alachia and it shows in every podcast she releases. You never know what is going to pop up next on WoWCast. It could be a recording of a raid, a class discussion, new patch details, deep soul searching regarding virtual living, or even a road trip to a professional gaming event. There is something for everyone on WoWCast, it just depends on which show you listen to. In my book, every show is perfect.

MMOG Website of the Year:

A tough category because I have to force myself to not name VirginWorlds as the winner every year. So, who is doing it almost as good as (/wink) IGN's PC gaming page is doing it very well. Many may scowl at the big guy getting a nod here, but IGN has hosted a ton of quality MMO coverage this year. Much of the material covered by blogs and podcasts spawns from articles from IGN. They have a constant stream of exclusives and present it efficiently and plainly without too much editorializing. The site is rather cluttered, like most huge commerical sites, but there are not too many annoying popups and those damned IntelliTxt links that so many sites have installed. Content is king, and IGN appears to be leading the way in that category.

MMOG Announcement of the Year:

BioWare MMO:
Green Monster Games:
We have many MMOs to look forward to in 2007, but the most exciting announcements of 2006 are certainly the fact that BioWare is entering the MMO Market and the formation of Green Monster Games, by Red Sox pitcher and MMO-fanboy Curt Schilling. It might be easy to dismiss GMG, after all what does a baseball player know about MMOGs? Don't forget, BioWare was founded by three medical doctors, and they didn't have fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore and comic book icon Todd McFarlane on hand to help. Nevertheless, BioWare has created a truckload of killer games since 1995. Players can expect great things from these two organizations in the coming years.

Submitted by Brent on Dec 22, 2006 18:45:39 CST (comments: 2)


'...' by Heartless
Submitted on 2006-12-26 08:39:36 CST
I would have voted Tobold MMO blogger of the year. I don't think anyone expected the amount of coverage he has recieved. Sure it is mainly WoW centered, but I think he has hit enough topics to keep everyone interested.

'of course' by Brent
Submitted on 2006-12-26 10:37:01 CST
Like any sane man would have too, I swiveled back and forth on that one for awhile and ultimately just went the one I like more (and who I believe has meaty, more significant entries) but those were the two I wondered about.

Same with podcaster of the year.. SecondCast (for a 'game' I almost never look at) or WoWCast (for a game I didn't play this year) - both are amazing podcasts. However, one of them has shows sitting on my iPod from last month...

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