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2005 Reader's Choice Awards

Awards By Dana Massey on December 26, 2005

Which company performed the best in 2005?

In the "Favorite Company" category we offer five companies which we believe offered above-par service and potential in 2005. This voting is meant to only consider the 2005 calendar year and should consider more than just the games they produced or are producing. Customer service, development speed, community support and any other factors that have touched you this year should be considered when voting. Here are the nominees:

Blizzard Entertainment

In late 2004 Blizzard Entertainment expanded into the MMORPG genre with World of WarCraft. This game has changed the way people see the MMORPG genre as it first beat then destroyed subscription records in North America and around the world. Previously better known for their non-MMO hits Diablo, StarCraft and WarCraft, Blizzard has developed a reputation as an excellent developer and are one of the few in the genre that can sell a game on brand name alone.

CCP Games

This Icelandic company continues to grow since the initial product launch of their flagship title EVE Online in May of 2003. Despite its age, EVE carries dominates the space-MMORPG genre, sports stellar graphics and continually breaks records for most simultaneously connected players in a single game world. All the while, CCP has maintained a reputation as a highly professional, talented and down-to-earth development studio.

Cryptic Studios

Partnered with NCSoft, Cryptic Studios dominates the soon-to-be competitive super-hero MMORPG genre with City of Heroes and its sequel City of Villains. The second of these titles - City of Villains - made Cryptic one of the few developers with two successfully launched titles in operation.

The unique interplay between their two titles means Cryptic has captured villainous gameplay, super-hero PvE adventure and player vs. player combat. At the same time, the company puts out fiction and fun for their players on a regular basis.

Mythic Entertainment

Dark Age of Camelot launched in October of 2001. Despite its age, DAoC retains its popularity as Mythic actively - and often for free - adds content and expansions to the title. Simultaneously, Mythic landed the license to develop a Warhammer-based MMORPG tentatively titled Warhammer Online.

Although they have continued their run of success and appear to have a promising future, the Fairfax, VA-based development studio did suffer one setback when they halted production on the planned sci-fi MMORPG Imperator Online earlier this year. Despite this move, there were no layoffs and all staff moved to existing productions.

Turbine Entertainment

Turbine Entertainment joins this category more on potential than achievement. The developer launched the legendary - if dated - Asheron's Call in December of 1999 and followed it with a sequel in November of 2002. Since then, they learned a harsh lesson in the viability of MMORPG-sequels when they announced that Asheron's Call 2's servers were closing in December of this year after a dismal three year run.

However, Turbine could regain its position among the MMORPG elite in 2006 with the planned release of Dungeons and Dragons Online, followed by Lord of the Rings Online later that year or possibly the next. With two mammoth titles in production it would be foolish to write Turbine off.

9 pages

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