Dennis Fong, who is the chief executive officer at Raptr has revealed that communities are very important to the success of a video game and that players tend to play a game for twice as long as the development team is actively engaged in communication with them.
Speaking to Polygon, the executive said, “If you take a community-as-a-service approach, the focus is on creating a relationship with a player over time, but getting a game in front of a user is the beginning of that. When approached in the right way, the model contributes to the success of the business, and feels like a good will gesture for gamers.”
According to Raptr, the elements that create a game community include special events, user-generated content, support for mods, tournaments that have support from the development team, live streaming and loyalty programs.
The company said that the best examples of how a community can sustain a successful game include ArmA 2, the military simulation from Bohemia Interactive, Portal 2
, the action puzzle game from Valve and League of Legends, the MOBA from Riot Games.
Fong added, “In order to do this properly, companies need to provide services to the player that build trust over a long term and integrate community as a core idea from day one. They need to provide real services to the community that players can actually use.”
Most companies are currently interested in communicating with those who play their games, mostly to get feedback and to understand which bugs affect the community so that they can be fixed in coming patches.
Always-on Internet connections have made it easier than ever for players to connect with other individuals who share the same gaming interests and the popularity of Steam means that even the most obscure games now have a clear distribution channel that can coagulate support.