With over 23.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2015 , the video game industry is growing rapidly. And with the popularity of mobile gaming, revenue in 2016 is looking to be even higher. Game marketers realize that a large part of gaming sales is dependent on tapping into the passion of gamers. They encourage this through creating community forums that revolve around specific gaming titles.
The passion shown by gamers is both enviable and infectious at the same time. Out of their love for their games, they form some of the most active communities. They exchange tips, help each other through difficult levels and compete against each other for bragging rights.
However, managing a community centered around video gaming has some unique challenges and rewards. A great community manager in the video game industry must have a passion for gaming and the people that composes it. They must also have excellent people-skills and problem-solving ability that they can use to help smooth out the more challenging environment in gaming forums.
Passion for gaming is important
Gamers are quite vocal and when you bring them together, it tends to be very combative in forums. The biggest problem sometimes is getting them to stop talking and listen. As the community manager, you need to be equally passionate. If you manage a community for a studio that has more than one game, you’ll need to be an avid player and be knowledgeable in all your game titles.
Obviously, this helps build credibility with your community of players and they will be able to identify with you. Take note that you are managing an online community of people scattered all over the world. This means that you may be required to answer to questions at odd hours of the night.
The Good and Bad of Managing a Gaming Community
Like every job, Game Community Managers have good day and bad days. On a good day, this is how your life as the manager will look like:
Announcing release dates
Gamers love new releases. Easily bored, they are always ready for the next title coming up - be it an update on a series or a new game. When a release date is announced, they have something to look forward to as the countdown begins. As the community manager, you are bound to have a great day after making the fans happy.
Besides that, you can now tease them with tidbits of the new games to keep them glued and interested. The conversation stays alive in your community. If you have more than one title being released, your days will be forever busy as you are engaged on all levels and platforms.
Successful game releases
When you announce the release date of a game, the idea is to ensure that your players have the games on the target date. Any delays will cause rumours that may not bode well for the publisher. It would be your job to keep upto date on developments as it happening, anticipate any potential negative situations and head them off. It is, therefore, a good day when you release the game on the said day without a hitch. Otherwise, you would be dealing with an outraged crowd.
Building strong friendships
You spend your day conversing with people who have similar interests; they get you, and you get them. You also get to know more about other cultures and help fellow gamers out on technical issues that they may encounter while playing your games. Connection over shared interests help build the strong relationships that will drive brand loyalty. You’ll get so engrossed in your job that it does not feel like work.
And on days when things are not working at their best:
Delays with release dates
As the community manager, you’ll also be the bearer of the bad news. You can imagine the reception you would get from a group that has been patiently waiting months for a release. The thought of telling them that they have to wait a few more days is enough to give you a good migraine.
Technical problems with a game
You are the connection between the developers and gamers, and because of that, you take the heat when there are issues with a game. With any delays or technical issues affecting game play, you will be responsible for communicating issues, providing feedback and keeping the goodwill between brand and community members.
Every job has its good and bad days. Your job entails dealing with a passionate group. Being a fan yourself makes it feel less like a job than a hobby that you get paid for. You’ll be working in an environment that you love and with an online community of people whom you understand.