Why Gaming Companies Understand Community

Posted on 23 August 2011

So I’m now on the market and officially looking for work.  It’s a daunting prospect but I’m having fun and learning a lot.

Moving into the gaming industry should be easy right?  I mean, community management is community management isn’t it?

Apparently it’s not.  To my chagrin the fact that I’ve never worked in the gaming industry comes up often during the interview process.  If anything I would think that building communities around printers and print related products would be considered very difficult and earn me some bonus points when being considered for a CM position.  I’ve also successfully managed other sites and those experiences, in many cases, were hard-earned.  My resume is chock full of CM goodness but no professional gaming industry experience.

So far it’s been an uphill battle but I’m keeping my head high and refusing to give up.

A big reason I’m considering moving to the gaming industry is because they seem to have learned the hard lessons of “community” over the past 20 years.  Early on companies were (and still can be) made or broken by a single title launch, so getting it right is imperative.  Those learned lessons are centered around focusing on the end user’s experience and supporting them before, during and after title launch.  No one needs to buy a game, so those who choose to drop $50+ bucks on your product should be coveted, supported, and nurtured.  To me it’s evident that the gaming industry has figured that out.

In my experience it’s often the case that businesses outside of gaming don’t include “community” in the development process, which is a big mistake.  Successful gaming companies incorporate communities from the start because they understand that those end-users are consumers and those consumers have a huge impact on the success or failure of a launch.

A community will form around your product, regardless of whether you’ve planned for it or not.  It’s infinitely easier to support that community in your own space rather than in web space that you don’t control. Plan for it!

History has shown us that community is the lifeblood of consumerism, but it requires commitment, patience, communication, planning, transparency, vision and bravery.  It’s this ethos of “community” that has fueled my professional life.  Those aforementioned traits are not often found together in many corporate boardrooms but they are traits that community managers usually have in spades.

So, as a CM I “get it.”  As a gamer for the last 32 years I’ve experienced it.

If you’re an HR person for a gaming company looking for an experienced community manager please consider me.  I’m a CM who truly cares about delivering the best experience possible to your end users.

Game on!

Check out my stuff at my About.Me page.  There you’ll be able to access my LinkedIn page as well as my blogs and other social media streams.

Cheers!

-Eric


4 responses to Why Gaming Companies Understand Community

  • Dianna Ingargiolo says:

    I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this site. Keep up the wonderful work.

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