At the end of November, Ten Ton Hammer asked its readers to vote for their favorite games in each of two categories--Most Anticipated MMOG of 2012 and Most Anticipated RPG of 2012. About 78,000 votes poured in to help us determine the winners and finalists in each category. (If you haven't already, check out our Readers' Choice Awards announcement.)
After the polls closed, we decided to pit the winners against one another. We were curious as to what would happen when we put a long-awaited sequel like Guild Wars 2 up against the rock-solid franchise represented in Diablo III. We wondered whether our Most Anticipated MMOG of 2012 winner, Firefall, whose community rallied to give it the number one position by casting repeated votes, could hold its own when we limited voting to once per day.
Interestingly enough, although we know our readers also play single-player and console RPGs, our polling proved once again that our readers' loyalty to the massively multi-player online game is strong--our top three finishers were all in the MMOG category.
Before we tell you our winner, let's take a look at the finalists, in order of votes received:
Most Anticipated Game of 2012 Finalists
First Runner Up - Firefall
Red 5 Studios' upcoming free-to-play team-based action MMO shooter, Firefall, was able to edge out Guild Wars 2 for Most Anticipated MMOG of 2012 in our preliminary voting. Although the vote was close, and the fan loyalty was fierce, in the finals round Firefall landed a few thousand votes behind the victor. Even so, this game has proven that it's community stands strong and offers its unyielding allegiance. If you haven't looked into Firefall yet, it's high time you did.
Second Runner Up - PlanetSide 2
MMO shooters proved popular with Ten Ton Hammer readers, and Sony Online Entertainment's sequel, PlanetSide 2, was a strong runner in our first round voting, managing to hold a first place position several times before becoming our second runner up. We have to wonder, though, whether it would have shown even stronger if beta sign-ups had been announced a little earlier in our voting process.
Third Runner Up - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the open-world fantasy RPG from 38 Studios, shares the same setting as its currently off-the-radar MMO counterpart in development, codenamed Project Copernicus. Unlike Project Copernicus, Kingdoms of Amalur has a launch date-- we'll see it in early February, 2012. This game can also name drop like a social climber at an Elton John after-party. Its executive design director is Ken Rolston, perhaps not a household name, but nonetheless the design force behind beloved RPG titles such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Kingdoms of Amalur is also based on the concepts of renowned fantasy author R. A. Salvatore and the creator of the Spawn comic series, Todd McFarlane. We hear a lot about the 38 Studios design and writing pedigree, and our poll demonstrates that our readers believe this pedigree could be primed to produce a best-in-show winner.
Fourth Runner Up - Diablo III
Diablo III, the hotly anticipated continuation of Blizzard's beloved action RPG juggernaut, landed squarely in our number four position, a result some might find surprising given the weight of its franchise. There's no doubt that gamers everywhere can't wait to get their hands on Diablo III, and those gamers flocked to Ten Ton Hammer in droves for the chance to win one of a small quantity of beta keys this fall. Is Diablo III's position the result of over-confidence on the part of voters who assumed its supremacy was assured? We'll never know for sure.
Fifth Runner Up - Mass Effect 3
That BioWare's third installment in its popular Mass Effect series landed in the fifth runner up position in our poll just as players were queuing up for early access to that other little BioWare game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, doesn't surprise us much--BioWare fans were too preoccupied to vote. But we're certain our readers will be just as eager to take a break from their lightsabers and blasters in order to put Commander Shephard through his paces when Mass Effect 3 launches in March, 2011.
The results of our Most Anticipated Game of 2012 Finals poll did more than help us crown a winner. they proved to us that we already know what our readers like. In fact, our winner already has a community home on Ten Ton Hammer. So, drum roll please...
Most Anticipated Game of 2012 - Guild Wars 2
When it comes to "fanticipation," our winner took the prize handily. It doesn't seem to matter that ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 is currently in a bit of a news lull, and that no release date has been set, fans are clamoring for a return to Tyria and the promise of an interactive, dynamic world where each character can have his or her own personal story. (And have we mentioned the elder dragons? Yes, here there be dragons. Cool ones.) If you haven't made a point of following Guild Wars 2 yet, our GW2 community site provides some great starting places. If you have, keep an eye on Ten Ton Hammer for news and more from the Most Anticipated Game of 2012!