Dear TRS (EP2) - featuring the community


#1

Ok well… on the heels of yesterday’s post about the social streams, I had some thoughts today about the news stream on the site.

Wouldn’t it (possibly?) be a good idea to feature the user-base more? Any strong community around a game comes from the team interacting with them and promoting their love of the game. At least as far as community building goes…

On a business level, it’s also a very smart move because it creates buzz and actually helps promote the game, with very little effort on your end. Content creators can be a GREAT source of positive promotion… it’s always worth doing.

A. Content creators. Let’s look at a few examples;

GTA - http://socialclub.rockstargames.com/news

They are constantly highlighting the communities efforts (videos, fan-art, pics etc…) in their stream and this brings out the “15 minutes of fame” mentality from a lot of folks. For those already established (YouTubers), it gives them the desire to create more content, which their often substantial subscriber base will have access to.

BF4 - http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf4/news/

These folks not only feature various videos etc… but also have the “community challenges” that further increase the sense of involvement for their players. Again, this encourages content creators and evangelists to promote the product, with very little effort on the developers part, and for the community to feel a sense of inclusion. It’s good marketing and PR… :wink:

Now, where are we at? https://www.turtlerockstudios.com/category/news/ - one post since launch. Yes, I know everyone is hard at work squashing bugs, but methinks the strategy could use a bit of a buff.

I also realize we have forum threads for a lot of that stuff, but it isn’t the same as surfacing the efforts and leveraging the content that’s being created. It wouldn’t take a lot of effort to step it up, and the benefits would be considerable.

Add that to the post on the social channels, (EP1 lol) and I do wonder who’s really managing the marketing/PR/outreach elements for ya’ll. Here’s the one from yesterday for reference;


CAVEAT;

Yup… I am a marketing consultant by trade. I have more than 25yrs experience (16 online marketing, 9 offline).

Nope… I am not applying for a job lol. I make (on average) around $150/hr consulting to SMBs and large brands alike (fortune 100).

I merely have grown a deep affinity for the game, this community and have respect for the team’s efforts here. So, this one’s on me folks. You’ve earned it…

CC @MacMan - U ever want to chat, I am happy to pitch in.


Oh and to the potential trolls? Don’t bother giving me “holier than thou” crap. I am just trying to help. The above is indeed true… I’ve been interviewed in the WSJ, USA Today and many other locales. Once you’re reached that level? Feel free to take a dump on me… Aight? Cheers.


#2

Well… you know… GTA… BF4… millions of players… Evolve…20 000 players…


#3

This thread is a perfect example;

Is this on our news page? Nope. Is it publicized on our Twitter stream? Nope. Is it on our Facebook page? Nope.

There’s plenty of others, certainly the least of which is tomorrow’s stream (which will feature discussion of early issues). I wouldn’t expect gaming journalists to spend time roaming the boards. Feature it on the news page, put out some press releases and outreach.

@Harry_Ellis - indeed brother, but these strategies are how one gets to millions of players. In fact, today I am working on competitor analysis for a client… and looking at what other do well, is a key element of that. (kinda why I was thinking about it here today lol)


#4

Yeah but… not gonna happen…


#5

It has an interesting line of thinking to it. Since you have a community of people who truly appreciate your efforts and your product why not try to focus their energies in a direction that could benefit you. All I can think of is that you’re a few steps ahead of them in terms of scale.

While there are true indie game developers with just a few folks who make strong use of social media channels they also tend to do more boutique-level stuff. Trying to be a smaller studio kicking out AAA is a bit more heavy a distraction.

I like the idea though, and in theory if it was mostly leveraging community content it wouldn’t take a lot of work on TRS’s end. Oh, TRS, what would you have your minions do on your behalf?!? :yum:


#6

You got it… and tbh, it’s not as much “scale” as it is strategy. They have a team that updates the blog and a team that manages the social channels. To me, it’s the strategy and focus that’s needs a buff. Again, much of what I was proposing won’t take all that much effort, and the benefits (to PR, to community building, to userbase growth) are immeasurable.

I have smaller SMB clients that have 2 people managing the news/blog and social channels. It’s often HOW it’s being used, not as much the resources required to do so.

Journalists are people too… they have egos. They love the chance to interview the CEO (or any C-level exec)… It’s a feather in their cap.


#7

I could see the one real benefit of periodic new Monsters and Hunters being released (as long as people can stop complaining about the DLC hoo-hah and pricing) is that for each one there’s a new chance to drum up press and potentially suck in some new blood. Until the initial noise level comes down and gets to a dull roar maybe initially they’re going with a strategy to get things in order before making a bigger and broader push?


#8

LOL… I sure as hell would. If they start to push ANYTHING new before putting out the fires that currently exist, it will just look bad. It would be perceived as being more interested in the cash-grab, than the user-base.

In my industry it’s called ORM (online reputation management).
https://www.google.ca/search?q=ORM+online+reputation+management&sourceid=groowe&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr,ssl&ei=J1_vVJrHAavmsASupoLYAQ


#9

I think there are a lot more than 20,000 players. The statistics on games played show a much greater number.


#10

The Daisy’s Day contest is not run by TRS, but myself personally. Therefore, it’s unofficial. I get what you are saying though. :smile:


#11

It’s officially unofficial, they need to hire Sledge for PR.


#12

Ah ok, didn’t know that, but it also goes back to some of the other points on promoting the evangelists etc. :wink:


#13

All love and respect for @SledgePainter 's awesomeness, but methinks they need a professional PR person/team. He’s already a great evangelist for the team/game/company. Or hey, at the very least a strategist to help direct the existing team.


#14

Yes, Sledge… well she is a very talented and enthusiastic community member since I have been here since the the alpha before the big alpha. I know a ton of community members were here before that!

I was just joking, but yes, I think they could use someone professional.

BUT, what I think they need to do more is focus on the content and patching and balance which they are doing, they don’t necessarily need a ton of good PR or new branding if they make the game that much better.

After they do some tweaking then the game is probably more deserving of the new PR branding as well.


#15

Indeed, but again, if it were one of my clients, I’d be tracking down journalists/Tubers of note to get the word out about what’s being done to fix things. Simply allowing the fires to burn out of control, is not a strategy at all… PR outreach is quite common in my world.

This should be FILLED with stories about how awesome the team is at responding to critics… about what’s being done to make the game even better (and deal with users concerns); https://www.google.ca/search?q=latest+news+about+the+game+evolve&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&ei=dWTvVJDaKI_lsASF3IKAAQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1093&bih=450

I would track down these peopls with PR outreach; https://www.google.ca/search?safe=off&biw=1093&bih=450&tbm=nws&q=reviews+of+the+game+evolve&oq=reviews+of+the+game+evolve&gs_l=serp.3...119720.134533.0.135091.40.21.0.0.0.0.810.810.6-1.1.0.msedr...0...1c.1.62.serp..39.1.809.XHmaxNl7tIY

And… I would be working towards bumping the negative results in Google back to page 2 of the results, (where nobody goes lol).


#16

Just teasing my beloved community… Ill be angry and trolly until the patch is out. Then Ill become a lovely hippie.


#17

Well at least your consistent with your inconsistency… rofl… we’ll admire U for that my brother!!


#18

It’s very well possible they don’t know if they fixes will even stick when they implement them.

If they advertise hey we fixed things, and then in reality they possibly made things worse, that would look really bad.

I assume they thought they ironed out a majority of the bugs upon release as well.

All the PR TRS has done was probably in their mind the right thing to do. In a lot of people’s minds nothing could be said except reversal of everything the game was.

If I were TRS I would be a little weary of the PR and all media outlets in general right now.

Focus on what they do best , which is making games.


#19

I hear what your saying, but again, letting the fires burn out of control isn’t generally the best approach. At very least, the appearance of diligence is far more beneficial in my experience.

Also, when one reaches out to befriend journalists, give them access, they are less likely to stomp on you (now and in the future). Shit, it’s not all that uncommon in our world to have a staffer research the journos in question (do they like cats? pizza? yada yada) prior to formal outreach. And yup, our outreach person might just yap off-hand about something funny that their cat did while they were eating some pizza… :wink: - We want to appeal to them as people… not just a cold PR outreach.

Yup… might sound douchy, but this is the reality in the marketing world. (of course I am talking larger brands and outlets like the WSJ, NYT etc…). :wink:


#20

I know as a gypsy you’re sensitive to anger AND hippiness :slight_smile: