Game industry website next-gen.biz posted an interesting (and oh so timely & relevant) article last week examining the effect of social media on the industry. We’re seeing the beginnings of big name game developers like Bungie (Halo) or Lionhead (Fable) tap into the social networks in “an industrial application of fanboy fervor”.
The article reads like the author is sitting in the MCDM classes with us; it starts off oh-so-promising with references to Facebook and Flickr. Rather than continuing the Web 2.0 theme in the article, though, it lapses back to community site and forums management, something very 1.0.
Developer-created networks are a great feature to add, though, building a bridge directly to their customers around the PR / marketing wall that the publishers maintain. It’s a great approach to getting that instant, direct feedback from the end user, and as mentioned, a smart way to take the content to potential purchasers.
I did in particular like these two quotes:
“it takes the content to the community rather than the community to the content”
“It’s also a means of empowering the community to grow and manage itself without the constant attention of developers.”
Just be wary of that vocal minority that lives on your website. Too much reliance on the “fan boys” and you’re likely to end up with inbred, 3-eyed children.