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2008 Reader's Choice Awards: Most Anticipated Game for 2009

Today, we continue with our nominee announcements for the 2008 MMORPG.com Reader's Choice Awards with our Most Anticipated Game category. Here, readers will vote for their most eagerly anticipated game with an expected 2009 release date.

Most Anticipated Game for 2009

The Most Anticipated Game category is always one of the most popular in our Reader’s Choice Awards because it gives players a chance to think about what’s coming down the line, especially when they are disappointed with the crop from the year before.

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This category, above all of the others, often makes it difficult for the editorial staff to come up with just six nominees, especially this year where the field of soon-to-be-released games is so thick with different kinds of games. So, in the end, we’ve decided to provide you with a slightly larger group of eight nominees.

In order to qualify for a nomination this time around, the game has to have an expected launch date in 2009. We don’t do this out of malice, because we know that anything can happen within a game’s development cycle and while we’re just as excited about some of the recently announced MMOs are you are, we had to somehow limit the field.

AION: The Tower of Eternity

This upcoming high-fantasy MMO from NCsoft has some of the most hype surrounding its inevitable launch. On top of some very interesting gameplay features and lore, this game boasts spectacular graphics, the Player vs Player vs. Environment system and the ability to fight while airborne.

Champions Online

This super-hero based MMORPG is being seen by many as Cryptic Studios’ follow-up to their first caped do-gooder MMO, City of Heroes (now owned by NCsoft). This game, risen from the ashes of an earlier Marvel Comics based MMO, is based on a pen and paper franchise IP and, along with its interesting list of new gameplay feature and an interesting comic book art style, hopes to set new precedents in the world of character creation and customization.

The Chronicles of Spellborn

Before we get a pile of emails telling us that The Chronicles of Spellborn has already released in parts of Europe… We know. The decision to include the game in this nomination set was made because the game has yet to launch in the North American market and has launched so recently elsewhere that it would be unfair to put it in the best new game category. The Chronicles of Spellborn is based in a world that has been literally torn apart by powerful forces. Players in the world will be introduced to a brand-new twitch combat system unlike anything that they have seen in other MMOs, engaging PvP, a unique art style and a design concept that relies on the players’ wits rather than “hand-holding” mechanics.

Darkfall

Word of this game’s launch has been eagerly awaited by both fans and detractors of the game alike and may currently have the most player hype surrounding it of all of our nominated titles. This sandbox-style MMORPG promises to let players interact with the game world in a way that many have felt was missing from their experiences with more recent MMORPGs. Some have high hopes that Darkfall with re-revolutionize the way that we think about MMORPG games.

Earthrise

This upcoming futuristic MMORPG takes place in the aftermath of the Third World War where few humans remain and high technology becomes very important to the survivors. This game will make use of a malleable faction system (you can choose your faction and then later, choose to go another way), offline progression, no class restrictions, twitch combat and more. While we are still learning about this upcoming MMORPG and how it will be put together, many players have the high hopes for this game that lands it a spot in our nominations for Most Anticipated game.

Jumpgate Evolution

This upcoming game, from NetDevil, is a follow-up to the company’s original space-based MMO, Jumpgate. This new version promises to engage players with thrilling dog fights, exceptional graphics, massive ship battles, a mission generation system that promises to create “thousands of fresh and immersive missions for players to embark on.”

Runes of Magic

Runes of Magic is the only representative from the free-to-play (item mall) genre of MMOs to make our Most Anticipated list this year. Impressive support for this game has landed it with an 8.42 anticipation rating from our users. The game itself promises a dual class system, server vs. server PvP, “individually developed sills and spells”, a very nice looking 3D world and more!

Stargate Worlds

Based on the popular Stargate IP that produced a movie and two television shows which ran for 15 years combined, this upcoming MMORPG promises to engage fans with their favourite universe. Stargate Worlds itself is based on a ranged combat system (mostly guns) which makes use of cover, positioning, and enemy AI to create challenges for the players. The game also boasts a mini-game system (meant to replicate non-combat areas of the franchise), the ability for at least one character class to disguise itself, stealth and many more interesting features that have garnered it a place on our nominees list.