There was a time, just a couple of decades ago, when if people wanted to play video games they had to go to a public place and enjoy themselves on an arcade machine in the midst of friends and strangers. Today, games are played in the privacy and comfort of homes, making it a somewhat solitary pursuit. Though gamers are no longer surrounded by people, the world of gaming has become increasingly social. Gamers are interacting with like-minded individuals from across the world and with gaming companies.
Shifting Social Trends
Gaming companies are increasingly shifting their focus to social media. Previously, the technology used to create games was more advanced than the Internet technology. Video games offered gamers an immersive experience, but they couldn’t share this experience over the Internet with their friends and family. However, now Internet technology, in particular social media technology, is catching up with gaming technology. This allows gamers to share their accomplishments in games and interact with acquaintances and friends. This interaction is more than just playing alongside them.
Considering the immense power of social media, more gaming companies are investing time to create a presence on various social media platforms. They are using this presence to engage players and potential players.
A majority of homes in the U.S. have high speed Internet connectivity. This allows gamers to share their gaming experience socially. Multiplayer online role-playing games, like World of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment, allow players to play with friends and complete strangers and share their experience outside the game world.
Gaming Companies on Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have allowed gaming companies to break traditional shackles and reach out to a global audience. The policies formulated by Blizzard Entertainment and Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Blizzard, has helped the company establish game specific channels on different social media platforms. Blizzard has its own official page on Facebook, while different games have their official Facebook page and Twitter feeds. In fact, Blizzard makes sure gamers have access to the latest news, previews, customer support and even careers through its dedicated Twitter feeds. That is not all. The gaming company has an official YouTube channel as well as channels for customer support and different games, including the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft.
In addition to official social media channels, many Blizzard employees have their own Twitter feeds. These feeds offer a wider scope of news, which is not endorsed by Blizzard Entertainment, but players can enjoy videos and opinions from the employees of the company.
In fact, social media has become Blizzard’s way of informing gamers about its much-anticipated World of Warcraft movie that is scheduled for release in the first half of 2016.
Taking a Leaf From Gaming Companies’ Social Media Presence
Gaming companies have learned to connect with and engage their audience through social media. This is a difficult task considering the sheer volume of fans and gamers. However, through trial and error, these companies have succeeded in using social media platforms to their advantage.
Other companies and entrepreneurs can learn from gaming companies how to successfully push news updates about development in their companies, get feedback from players and fans from across the globe and engage the community of players to join official forums and stay active.
Today, thanks to the Internet, gaming has turned into a mainstream leisure and entertainment activity. No longer are gamers playing in an isolated bubble, away from other fans. Some gaming companies are also using conversation apps, like Messenger and WhatsApp to engage fans, and this is something independent gamer developers should explore to get the recognition they seek and desire.
Social media has opened up a whole new world for gaming companies, both big and small, that allows them to cleverly engage fans using platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even in-game social networks and online forums to advertise, market and engage audiences like never before.