With a plethora of social media platforms available to Game Developers, it can be quite difficult to choose the best for gaining actionable feedback from your Gaming Community. While using multiple platforms to engage with your Gaming Community is ideal, there’s one platform, in particular, that’s the best to obtain actionable feedback to improve your game. Below you’ll see how all the top game developers use each social platform.
Twitter grants Game Developers the opportunity to make brief, quick, urgent game updates and tidbits. Some examples include game/server maintenance, bugs that need to be fixed, special in-game events, game status, memes, and direct communication.
It’s often used for reporting problems, bugs, and glitches; however, it’s also a great tool for announcing news and allows Developers to stay in touch with the fanbase.
Twitter is also a great platform for engaged players who want to know official news from Developers as soon as it drops.
Con: However, Twitter has a history of becoming incredibly toxic with Trolls and non-constructive communication from people. Also, Twitter doesn’t have the best method to engage in back-to-back (or live) conversations with the community. Often you have to wait for a reply back to a specific thread and Twitter Threads can get lost in the noise and shuffle of a post.
Example: Below is a great example of utilizing Twitter with their Community. ArcSystem Works most popular Fighting Game Franchise, Guilty Gear, has been posting a continuous blog series called, “Developer’s Backyard,” that highlights the continuous changes that ArcSystem Works new game Guilty Gear Strive, and all the changes, improvements, and their reasoning for those changes in a post which takes the community straight to their site. It explains clearly and transparently why the developers are delaying the game, what insights they gained from a previous closed/open beta, and what improvements/changes they plan to make.
Facebook still remains to be a popular platform for New User Acquisition, Advertising, and Facebook Groups. Despite a decline in younger users (Millennials and Young Teens), it’s still a great platform for new and casual players to announce game-related news, updates, and patch notes. Additionally, Game Franchises and Companies/Developers can acquire many followers/likes which can help with brand recognition.
Cons: Many users of Facebook complain about it becoming saturated with ads and content not relevant to their interest, which can lower user engagement. Users have been experiencing more ad fatigue and are driving them away from Facebook; (Source: Why your Facebook Ads Performance Might be Declining).
Cons: “Not all page followers see the posts, the difficulties of achieving organic reach, the changing algorithm, difficulties in moderation and in having meaningful conversations with players.” – A Study of Community Engagement on Discord for Game Marketing
Example: Below is a great example of brand recognition for Fortnite’s Facebook Page which has over 5 million Followers/Likes. However, many of the posts only have 5,000+ Likes, a few thousand shares, and a few thousand comments.
When compared to Fortnite’s Discord Server which has a substantially lower number of members (750K+ Members), but has over 150K+ members online interacting with one another live.
Instagram serves as a great platform for Game Developers to showcase their game’s branding, artwork, and style. Additionally, it allows Game Developers to share and tag posts from huge influencers, streamers, and content creators who support their games (Ninja, Dr. Disrespect, Shroud, Alinity, Pokimane).
Additionally, Instagram’s platform is great for new and lightly engaged players who like to enjoy behind-the-scenes content provided from short-form videos or IGTV. It also provides Game Developers a great way to connect with artists who enjoy creating fan art in relation to their game.
Cons: Instagram acts like more of a supplementary platform for Game Developers since it’s limited in capturing live content and isn’t ideal for social engagement with players who want a back-to-back conversation. Also, in the case of Destiny 2’s Instagram Account, despite the amazing engagement they get with their posts, it can warrant Trolls or non-constructive criticism.
Example: Destiny 2 has 1.4m followers and a majority of their Instagram posts are short clips, demonstrating various combat abilities of the various characters in the game.
While a respectable amount of views (on average 50k – 100k per post), most of the comments are non-constructive and/or complaints from Gamers and possibly trolls.
Reddit is an excellent platform for Moderators to share and pin detailed information and news about game updates and patches weekly. Also, Reddit remains to be the premium platform for hosting Ask-Me-Anything Discussions which offers Developers an amazing opportunity to engage in back-and-forth conversations with the community.
Additionally, if the Subreddit allows it, content creators and influencers can post guides, information, and videos about the game for other communities to enjoy.
Cons: Direct communication with Reddit Moderators can be quite difficult or non-existent in some cases. Additionally, Reddit can lose focus with multiple posts of memes, fan-arts, and other non-developer-related topics which can force important community feedback to get lost in the noise.
Example: Genshin Impact’s Reddit is saturated with fan art and memes; with very few developer notes or constructive feedback, which can distract and/or deter community members from using the Subreddit. Again, a great tool for the community to share cool concept art, fan art, and comical memes, but it isn’t ideal for Game Developers to obtain actionable feedback. However, Game Developers can take notes from a communities’ reaction to Patch Notes when they’re posted in their respective Subreddits.
YouTube is still regarded as one of the “King” platforms for generating content for Game Communities. Between short-form and long-form, trailers/teasers, and how-to guides/tutorials, YouTube can offer Game Developers an amazing place to generate hype and work along with other influencers (can collaborate with gameplay highlight videos, guides, behind the scene videos, and more).
Additionally, YouTube has the capabilities to host a live event like in such cases with the Playstation State of Play or Nintendo Directs. Game Developers can also host a live event with hosts, competitors, and developers who’re directly involved with a game’s launch, maintenance, and/or upcoming patches/features. In these events, hosts can easily access the chat to see their reactions when they drop exciting information or pull a few questions from the community to answer.
Con: However, these events can become quite chaotic as many of them have thousands (or tens of thousands) of people chatting and interacting with each other. Many excellent points or ideas from the community can get lost in a wall of text and never be seen or acknowledged by the Game Developers. Additionally, YouTube’s live streaming is somewhat limited in being able to pull community feedback aside from asking directing to them and maybe utilize a voting poll.
Example: Raid Shadow Legend’s YouTube Channel (229k Subscribers and 49,238,073 views), has a variety of videos targeted at beginners and explains the Game Mechanics. This serves as a great tool to direct players to helpful resources that will eliminate some of the difficulty of jumping into a game and not knowing the mechanics and/or features that a new game can offer.
Twitch provides Game Developers with live streams that are great for reaching a young audience and potential new users/viewers. Additionally, Developers can easily connect with Influencers/Streamers/Content Creators who play and enjoy your game to show them fellow support and potential partnerships for sponsored streams.
Twitch’s Live Streams also have a multitude of tools that far exceed YouTube and Facebook’s streaming capabilities and still reigns supreme for usability and overall user experience.
Cons: Although a fantastic platform for influencers to promote your product, having a Game Developer Feedback Session is difficult because of the constant stroll of text. Additionally, Moderation and Monitoring of Chat is troublesome/difficult and requires extra staff to manage/moderate chat.
Example: Capcom’s Twitch Channel (56k+ Followers) offers Capcom a fantastic platform to offer live showcases and generate hype for a new game or an update. Additionally, many of Capcom’s Showcases (for Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter) are scripted which gives the company full control on edits, production, and the quality of the presentation. While this prevents Capcom and other Game Developers from receiving live feedback, it should deter Game Publishers from using Twitch as a social media platform.
Discord offers a slew of bots, tools, and community features that Game Developers can use to maximize their communities’ enjoyment, activity, and feedback. It’s a fantastic platform to allow community members to communicate in daily discussions and allow for social engagement to build naturally.
Additionally, you can build various channels within your Discord Server to serve different tasks. For example, you can have a room dedicated to “How to” Guides, Tutorials, and Walkthroughs. Another room can be dedicated to Alliance and Guild Recruitment for players to join. You can have dedicated Voice Chat Rooms and Video Chat Rooms where groups of the community can hop in a call and play a game together; or the Game Developers can set up a call with specific players to get actionable feedback, recommendations, and suggestions for how to improve their game.
Discord also has plenty of tools to help Game Developers track insights and analytics to keep track of how many engaged members they have in their community. It’s easy to create rooms dedicated to Beta and Alpha Testing Feedback. Discord recently added Discord Stage Channels which could be useful for live presentations or discussions.
It’s an amazing platform to engage live with the Gaming Community, chatting with people in-game (to discuss ideas, questions, and feedback), phenomenal for new and engaged players, easy to help organize people, easy to make Game Updates and Announcements in, and has easy moderation tools to grant permissions to specific players/groups.
This gives Game Developers the tools to give bans/timeouts/kicks against trolls or disruptive players, and bots can help moderators manage large Discord rooms to keep the peace. In short, Discord offers an “All-in-One” kind of platform for both Developers and Community Members to enjoy, utilize, and share insightful conversations. As Neil Patel describes:
“Social media is a noisy place. When you log onto Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, ready to enjoy some content, you’re bombarded with ads and thousands of posts about all sorts of things—much of which you might not care about. It’s overwhelming at best, and at worst, it makes us feel lonely. For the most part, we aren’t having meaningful discussions or engaging conversations around our biggest passions.” – Neil Patel, How Niche Communities Are Changing Online Conversations
Cons: Despite Discord’s amazing features, it does come with some issues. While accessing and using the Discord Server from a Community Member’s perspective is relatively easy and familiar, from a Game Developer’s perspective, there is a bit of training that’s required to fully utilize Discord Servers to their potential.
You’ll need to research Discord Bots, their various uses, which ones serve your Discord Server the best for your needs, and what kind of features you want to provide for your community. Additionally, you’ll need a form of moderation watching over your Discord Server 24/7. Albeit, there are Moderation Bots available to help, they serve more as tools and can’t replace the human element.
Example: To give you an idea of Discord and its user engagement, below offers some statistics on how popular this Social Media Platform is for the Video Game Community as a whole.
Discord Registered Users
Discord Monthly Active Users
Discord Peak Concurrent Users
Messages Sent on Discord
850 million messages are sent every day, six billion each week, 25 billion every month.
“The research findings demonstrate that forty-six percent of the respondents have their main community on the Discord platform. Respondents prefer the Discord platform due to it “being easy to set up and use”, that “people already have accounts” and “platform independence”.” – A Study of Community Engagement on Discord for Game Marketing
A Study from Andy Nguyen’s Tooth and Tail Discord Server
Andy Nguyen, a Producer/Designer at Pocketwatch Games, that produces Tooth and Tail, uses Discord by, “automate giving out game keys, help our players find matches faster, create engagement and competition between community members with games like “The Crown,” and so much more.” – How to Build an Active and Engaged Indie Game Community with Discord
Nguyen explains that Discord provides his team the tools necessary to create a new experience for the community that enhances the player’s experience. Discord provided Nguyen’s Developers with the tools to create their Tooth and Tail Server with these following features:
- Static Rooms:
- Hall of Fame
- Collaboration Rooms:
- Tooth and Tail Wiki
- Tech Support
- Mod Development
- Tournament Coordination
- Permission-Based Tools
- Community/Developer Engagement
- Balance Data
- Steam Verification
Furthermore, in Gamasutra’s article, Game Developers Using Discord to Create a Pre-Release Community, Rich Moss, of Gamasutra, spoke with Andy Nguyen about the Tooth and Tail project and offers more details on how they utilized Discord’s functionality. Some examples include Tooth & Tail’s Welcome Room.
Nguyen and the Tooth & Tail developers made easy, color-coordinated Roles to identify key members and moderators and assign specific permissions and tools to those individuals.
Additionally, Pocketbot, pictured below, gave the Game Developers and Moderators a method to gatekeep players by creating a puzzle, similar to a captcha, to verify players and allow them to enter the Discord Server.
Despite a large number of social media platforms, Discord for the purposes of maintaining an active community is ideal.
Discord’s ease of creating rooms, giving players specific access/permissions, and utilizing Voice Channels/Video Streaming, Developers can manage Q&A Sessions, Feedback Channels, Alpha/Beta Channels, allows Developers to fully customize a community hub to give players a safe and secure environment to enjoy and discuss their game.
Developers will have the tools and the ability to have an active and direct conversation with players or a specific group of players i.e. VIPs, Whales, F2P, “Gamefluencers”, Moderators, etc while maintaining a light-hearted and fun environment to keep the community active in fun events or social environments. For example, Meme Rooms, Fan Art Submissions, Off-Topic Rooms, Contest Rooms, Influencer/Content Creator Submissions.
Game Developers can (with bots) install plug-ins to automatically post all relevant Social Media Posts (from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) into a specific channel where Discord Members can easily access, view, and discuss all the relevant news related to your game.
Although Discord can serve as an amazing feature to record and acquire Data, Feedback, and Community Insight, it’s important to cast a “wide-net” and utilize all the tools available that are appropriate for your community.
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