Choice Online Awards organizers have also announced that Electronic Arts' Ultima Online, the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history, will be honored with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games.
The persistent world installment for the seminal Ultima game franchise, which launched on September 25th, 1997, has now been operating for almost 14 years - and was a key part of the wave of late 1990s subscription-based MMOs which brought the genre to much wider attention.
In honor of the game's induction, the Hall of Fame award will be accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, Launch Producer, Starr Long, Director, and Raph Koster, Lead Designer. Joining them will be Eugene Evans, GM of BioWare Mythic, the current home of Ultima Online within Electronic Arts, who will introduce key team members from the game's development history.
In celebration GDC Online will present a special lecture, 'Then and Now: Ultima Online Over Time'. The lecture will be co-presented by Rich Vogel, currently at BioWare Austin and the original producer of Ultima Online, and Calvin Crowner, the current Ultima Online game producer. The duo will talk about the history of the title, contrast their work on the game throughout its history, and provide anecdotes and specific takeaway from many years of work.