Strong gaming communities are spreading as fast as the game publishers can put out games. After all, few groups use the internet as intensely as gamers do. Now, virtual communities in general tend to group people who share similar interests together. These people don’t have to share the same views, as a matter of fact, different and opposing views about certain topics can fuel healthy, clean and civil disagreements that will create a strong gaming community that is active.
Gaming communities, on the other hand, are just more awesome because they have games! Whether they were for PC games, console games, or mobile games, gaming communities provide a platform where dedicated gamers can discuss the game.
We’ll list below 5 ways to create a strong gaming community and keep it runnin’.
We need to get this out of the way so we can call this article “comprehensive”. We won’t discuss all the technical aspects, and neither will we pretend to understand them, but the basics remain true for whatever virtual community we want to create.
First, the servers. Whatever the cost may be, you will need to have reliable servers and backup servers. Letting your community try to connect time and time again to no avail is a real letdown that you need to avoid. Second, the user interface. Your UI needs to be really friendly and simple.
People in your community are here to discuss your game and not to learn to maneuver complicated threads. It’s also a good idea to allow and simplify photo, video and audio sharing as well as, enable personal messages between your community members so they can feel free to talk and socialize outside of threads and forums.
You might have created a strong gaming community, but it’s not only yours!
Although this might seem obvious and simple in theory, letting go of your control over the community will always be a hard thing to do. Just like a parent sending their kid to college, you need to let your community grow and flourish by its own.
To be clear, we’re not saying you should leave your community with no supervision whatsoever, we’re merely suggesting that you should not entangle yourself with every small thing in the community. You can let your community choose their mods and then let the mods control how your community acts.
You’ll of course have a set of rules that will guide your strong gaming community as a whole and weed out any trolls, but the elected mods will be advancing the community based on the wishes and needs of the members. This will also create a sense of belonging since the mods would become an integral part of the community and the other members could aspire to be elected as mods.
Create a specialized team from your end
You should have an assigned team of devs and moderators that will keep an eye on the forums and topics raised by the community to help your users in anyway they can and to answer any questions related to your game. This is one of the main distinctions between a strong gaming community run by the game publisher and a mere fansite run by hardcore fans.
Stay in touch as management
Other than the team of staff members, make sure to have someone from management chat a bit with your community and answer their questions. Management also has more authority when they tease about future updates or changes to the game, or if there is a new game altogether. An AMA is a good way to achieve this.
LISTEN to your users
This might seem clear as day, but the amount of players that feel disconnected from their game publishers is just outstanding. Your community will always have something to say, or rather, a million contradictory things to say. To always keep a strong gaming community you should always answer them.
You will never be able to please everyone, that’s a fact, but you can address their concerns and explain to them how they’re assuming things you never released or exaggerating the problem. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and tell them that they’re wrong when they are, but always be as diplomatic as you can.
Creating gaming communities has become essential in any place you plan to publish your game in. It will also create a unique identity to your fanbase, especially when you’re publishing your game in a different language than the original, Arabic for example, and you want to create a healthy community where members can understand one another, so you create a localized community for gamers in the MENA region.
To put this into perspective, if you are an Arab mobile game publisher and you’re publishing your games in Arabic, you can rest assured that the longevity of your game is at least doubled, and would potentially attract more fans.