There is a wind of change blowing through the gaming industry, and it has to do with the way companies interact with their fans. In the past, the traditional approach to video game promotion was though print media. Developers invited the big magazines to come and test games, get screenshots, and ask exclusive Q&A's. With the advent of the internet, this model of marketing is now being phased out. Game magazines are dying as people turn to the net to get their information quickly, and free of charge.
Video game companies have been slow to react to this change, but with the success of Blizzard's community projects in World of Warcraft, they are learning. In recent months Blizzard has created a new department specifically designed for community building. This division is headed up by two people: Karune, who has been responsible for giving us information through the Q&A posts, and Stephanie, who performs her job in Blizzard's European office.
On Thursday, Blizzard gathered 13 people from 12 different StarCraft and WarCraft community sites together for a meeting. Many sites familiar to you were present including myself and Meat from TL, as well as people from GG.net, sclegacy.com, MYM, and broodwar.de. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together the leaders of this community and discuss ways in which we can better interact with each other and Blizzard. This was a valuable opportunity for us as community leaders to meet face to face with one another, and bind us together for a common future.
It is no secret that when StarCraft 2 arrrives, there will be a torrent of new players and activity. It is impossible for us to overstate how large the the effect will be. Blizzard is now taking steps to ensure that when they launch their game, there will be a community ready to welcome these new gamers. The Community Summit put existing sites into a position to make the transition to StarCraft 2. In this transition, Blizzard will be our partner as they help foster a strong community that will support their game for another ten years.
What does this mean for you, our visitor? This means that not only will Blizzard be paying attention to site leaders, but they will be paying attention to site visitors. It means that the opinions you express on this website will be tabulated, summarized, and sent on to Blizzard. Already you have experienced your influence on the development team through the redesign of the seige tank and the removal of protoss units. This influence will only get stronger as TeamLiquid and other sites have a direct pipeline to Blizzard and their developers. With this new Community Division listening to us, you yourself can help craft the very game you are about to play. The leader designer and balancer of StarCraft 2 both read our site. Think about that when you post.
In terms of community leaders, our discussion generated many good ideas on how to better coordinate the goals of Blizzard with the goals of these many community sites. Blizzard has many plans in place on how to better integrate the sites into their overall SC2 plan. One I am at liberty to talk about include a revamp of the Blizzard fansite program. Under the new guidlines, active sites would be granted priviliges and perks normaly only given to pring magazines and the large online news sites. Sites which work hard at community building will be given support on their projects and official exposure by Blizzard. The stronger the site, the stronger the support.
The future of StarCraft is approaching at an amazing pace. With your continued efforts, you can help ensure TeamLiquid will be on top of the scene with the best StarCraft forums on the net.
Blizzard is listening. What do you have to say?
I'd like to take this space to thank Kevin (Karune) and Stephanie for being such gracious hosts today, as well as the entire Blizzard staff for allowing us to tromp through their headquarters. In addition I would like to thank the other members of the community whom Joy and I met; it was a pleasure to foster stronger ties between all of us.
Last edit: 2007-08-02 23:19:49
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CustomXSpunjah United States. August 02 2007 23:27. Posts 1093
that is awesome, the reason why starcraft is still such a great game in this day and age many years after it was created is the love and attention that blizzard spends on creating these games. they know that its not just about pretty effects and big machines, its about all aspects of the strategy.
One thing I like about blizzard is how they don't always focus 100% on money. It's true that they want their game to be successful, but they also actually try to make their fans like them. That's why patches have come out for bw for so many years, and why they are even looking to the community of gamers for ingenuity and advice. I hope they continue to be miles ahead of other video game companies in this regard.
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IntoTheWow is awesome. August 03 2007 00:09. Posts 31041
the fact that they responded to fan request (like the tank being redesigned) gave me confidence that blizzard is really listening. that is a pretty rare and great attitude we get to see from other developers. GG Blizzard!
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WE ARE FAMOUS! Way to go blizzard! Our SC2 forum is not a complete waste of time then eh? Good news good news...
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Although Blizzard games are in general among the most thought-through, stable, and best maintained, I cheerish this development, where direct feedback from gamers is bound to improve games even further.
Great development. Of course also in terms of marketing, risk managment, and generally making even more money a smart move :-)
For a full complement of buzz word's I'd even go so far to call it a win-win-situation :-))