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March 23, 2019
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How To Grow Your Games Community

by Antonio Torres on 11/27/18 10:05:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Nowadays, with the invention of computers and the expansion of online gaming, most people develop friendships and relationships in some form or fashion with people they meet online. These bonds others form help cultivate a sense of community that eventually translates into real relationships outside of the web. Once the relationships are formed, the game’s impact on the culture is permanent, and the game will persist for years to come. Four tips will be able to assist you in growing that community and helping the game last. 

Aiming Down the Sights: Narrowing your Focus 

First and foremost, you must have a product that is clear and complete. In order to know if you have a finished game or not, you need to ask yourself: “what does it (or I) have that draws customers in?” Is it the Team Deathmatch multiplayer, as in the Call of Duty series, or does it have a decent story-line for single-player? If the game does not have one or both of those attributes, it will not be able to generate the positive feedback necessary to build a community. People love to have something to rally around that is concise. Targeting one or both of those modes of play (where players face each other or can play solo) will ensure that your game will have the ability to build that community. Any game too broad or with too many facets would not encourage long-term subscribers to your product. Word would get out about the company not caring for their target audience simply because there was no care specifically devoted to one thing or another. Knowing to limit your focus in a quality manner is an excellent way for gamers or viewers to know what they desire and gives any potential community rally points upon which to construct themselves. 

Being Socially Inclined 

Secondly, new Marketing strategies will grow your community exponentially in today’s fast-paced climate. New social media strategies engage customers personally, and bonds between the company and customer are built upon things that they care about or can connect to other things. A one-minute video consisting of a plumber working on a sink would connect well to a Mario game if it added sound effects from the game, for example, bringing nostalgia to players’ minds. Same is true with a picture. If it is meme-able, find a way to make it so that you can relate to consumers and inspire their sense of humor. If you can make them laugh, odds are great that you will build a community because people want to continue their good feelings. Aside from asking your friends and family to follow your Facebook groups at first, using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts once or twice a day will be a great launch point to build your community. 

Being Genuine 

People do not like being swindled. If you feel a way about your product, or are thankful for your followers, tell them. Make it plain without lots of fluff or pageantry. Keep it simple in all forms of communication so that people can read or hear what you have to say, but that it's not overbearing to them. Further, do not over share or add people if it does not feel natural. Eventually, your followers will catch on to your insincerity, and your community will decline because the followers themselves will no longer see a genuine desire to be a part of it. The adage is true: if you are genuine, people will be genuine back. It does need, though, to start with the organizer. Make sure you understand your level of desire and motives when it comes to building the community. 

Consistency is Continuation 

Finally, any community that exists or desire to exist must have rock solid constancy. When it comes to maintaining your community you must make sure that you continue to post quality content, communicate genuinely and openly with your community, and play/ develop quality games; if you do not, your community will fizzle out over time. Consistent communication is essential. Starting out with a post or two a day is great, but if you can keep the expectations going you will build a reputation as a compassionate, reliable community and more people will want to join in on the fun. More inclusion is better for your community and will help it grow in the long run.


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