In a new Gamasutra feature
creative director Todd Batty says that users must be empowered both to create and consume content to drive engagement "constantly".
"Some games talk about social features and have ways to meet up with friends and play against them, but they don't have that same means of creation and consumption in that loop, and so the entire social network falls apart. If you don't have interesting and constantly new creative content, the whole thing will fizzle out and die," says Batty.
In the article, he describes how SSX
, which launched last month, added a new feature called Ridernet which -- like EA's Battlelog (Battlefield 3
) and Autolog (Need for Speed
) -- adds social functionality to the game, including the ability for players to hide items in the game.
"That right there is what makes a great social network: everyone is motivated to do something, and that thing makes the whole experience richer for everyone else," Batty says. "Any social network -- whether it's Facebook, Twitter, or a video game -- every single one of those relies on that formula."
"The richest social networks tend to be the most dependent on the people who belong to them to make interesting and meaningful content for other people on the network."
The full feature, which also includes comments from Activision (Call of Duty Elite) and 343 Industries (Halo Waypoint) is live now on Gamasutra