Hi there, always looking forward to all AOE content.
I want to address the outgoing communication from the dev teams, which if improved, would solve a lot of issues and make the community happier and benefit the game(s).
First some praise:
- the Fan Preview (cool stuff)
- the Civ reveal interviews and the public mentioning of certain concerns (e.g. “arrowgate”)
- the detailed website with all the Civ information
- after MANY posts questioning whether the devs actually read the forums, some community managers answered a lot. still postive
- an out of date communication plan
- lack of information
(e.g. regarding state of the game or beta plans)
- no (or almost no) communication with forum participants regarding ideas or concerns
- no information regarding future information releases
frustration among the core community
the community reports the same old issues over and over again
unaddressed concerns are blown out of proportions due to no official feedback in the forums
controversial issues are getting media attention first BEFORE getting dev feedback (e.g. the price issue some people mentioned, being picked up by the media first)
which all funnels into:
=> uncertainty about the soundness of the developers efforts and plans
All of this naturally leads to the question: Are there examples how other studios/developers are going about it?
Here are 3 examples I think are interesting:
(1) Negative Example: DICE/EA communication before/around “Battlefield 5”
Just a horrible story, I don’t think I have to mention many details, but basically they afterwards fired their marketing team and the game’s success/sales were quite underwhelming. Fans were disappointed, it was quite the disaster.
(2) Positive Example: DICE/EA communication currently for “Battlefield 2042”
- They announced the game on June 9th AND IMMEDIATELY mentioned the date of the gameplay reveal! (June 13th)
- After the gameplay reveal, they IMMEDIATELY announced when the next big reveal event would be happening (July 22nd)
- they addressed questions and concerns that came up and clarified a lot of uncertainty of the community
(3) Positive Example: Communication of Coffee Stain Studios regarding “Satisfactory”
- the community managers regularly stream on Twitch and make quality videos regarding the game and its development
- plans and ideas are clearly communicated, as well as time frames
- they schedule the updates, sometimes have to postpone the release, BUT ALWAYS communicate it!
- thanks to the constant communication, the community/playerbase is very happy and supportive!
Conclusion: I certainly am aware that these are different games and different studios (e.g. one a small indie game in early access), and not all of these things would be suitable to copy for the AOE developers. Yet I don’t see why any other developer team shouldn’t take the best of these approaches and try to implement them.
A revision of the communication strategy would only benefit the game’s success!
- here are 3 ideas of mine based on the examples above:
(1) communicate clearly when the next information reveal is planned
- even if its done vaguely (e.g. “in August”) or has to be postponed, the community would be more understanding and grateful
- everyone would be be able to better engage with the devs in the forums too, if the next step in the schedule is known
- people know when possible forum feedback could be taken into account/would be visible in new footage
(2) have community managers regularly (e.g. weekly) sum up the concerns/ideas of the community with a possible statement regarding which issues can be addressed, which will be forwarded, and which aren’t feasible/worth addressing
(3) regularly post pictures/videos/details regarding already revealed content in the forums to direct feedback in the directions useful to the developers
Thank you for reading, I tried my best to evaluate the status quo and give useful feedback.
I bet the rest of you guys (community) have even better ideas.
I have faith in the developers and community managers to at the very least read this and leave a comment!
Take care y’all, only 100 days until release!