The 2009 ZAM Awards

With the ticking of the clock, we’re drawing ever closer to the start of a new year and that means it’s time for all of us to take a step back to look at the past 365 days while we eagerly await the new batch of MMOs that are prominently displayed on the virtual horizon. So what did we enjoy most in 2009 and which titles do we truly crave in 2010? 

Over the next week and a half, we’ll be handing out our inaugural end of the year awards, featuring the best-of-the-best in massively multiplayer online gaming. Keep reading to see the list of categories, leading to our choice for Game of the Year! 

The 2009 ZAM Awards - Best Free-to-Play Game

Happy Holidays and it's time for more of ZAM's 2009 End of the Year Awards! Today's category is "Best Free to Play MMO," and this year saw some fantastic additions to the Free to Play MMO sphere, as well as some strong contenders become even stronger with their platoons of enthusiastic developers.

Of particular interest for the year of '09, F2P MMO gamers would see the rise of a different kind of the 'free to play' business model in the form of buying and unlocking dungeon content, or sometimes even unique classes that cannot be unlocked, or are difficult to unlock through regular game play. While mostly western F2P MMOs would utilize this model, like Dungeons & Dragons Online (under its new F2P model), or SOE's newest MMO, Free Realms, it's probably only a matter of time before some eastern developed MMOs go down this path as well.

Remember, you can check out all of the awards given out thus far at the main 2009 Award Page, or you can jump directly to see who won our "Best Free-to-Play MMO" award!

2009 ZAM Awards: "Most-Anticipated Established IP"

Moving along in our 2009 ZAM Awards this week, it's time to introduce our picks for the "Most-Anticipated Established IP (Intellectual Property) of 2009." In the broadest sense, intellectual property "refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce," as interpreted by the United Nations.

When extended to the entertainment industry, intellectual property exemplifies all media; the movies and TV shows we watch, the music we listen to and the video games we play. For our purposes, a "known IP" refers an existing property—perhaps a movie, novel or comic book—that is "licensed out" to create an MMO in likeness or spirit. To see the list of winners, you can go directly to the "Most-Anticipated Established IP" entry, and check out the 2009 ZAM Awards main page for all the categories as they're revealed throughout the end of the year.