When you think about gamers, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? A spotty teenage boy sitting in his bedroom playing games in the dark? Well maybe. But multiply that by 40 million and you’ve got the amount of “monthly active players across all of (Activision’s) Call of Duty titles”. That’s right. 40. Million.
When Activision complimented the launch of one of the latest chapters of the Call of Duty (COD) titles – Modern Warfare 3, with a social online platform (Call of Duty Elite) they did so with the specific intention of providing an elevated level interaction for their enormous player community. According to Activision’s CIO Robert Schmidt “It lets gamers join competitive clans or social groups, track and share thousands of stats with friends, create custom leaderboards, and upload and share videos of their greatest Call of Duty game play moments with friends. It gives players more ways to connect with fellow gamers than ever before.”
By linking up with Salesforce.com they were also able to supplement this by delivering a support network that wasn’t only about taking phone calls but also enabling them to connect with players on Facebook and Twitter. Where they could address bugs and gameplay issues, as reported by the game’s community and roll them out with patches or updates to the games.
Activision isn’t the only games company that is utilising social tools such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with their legions of fans. As described by Megan Carriker in her post on IgniteSocialMedia.com, whilst “there are several problems with Facebook as a platform for video game companies… the pros of being active on such a popular social media platform outweigh the cons”. She elaborates further by quoting John Drake from Harmonix (makers of games such as Rock Band and Dance Central) who sees the social media platform as a “centralized feed of chronological data”. This I think is fundamentally important as it furthers my opinion that social media is a conversation and introduces the idea that it is a centralised point where you can connect with your audience.
Gaming communities have existed for a long time via various forums and chat-rooms where probably the Steam Community is the most well-known, where people can sell or share their own levels and character models to fellow players for example. So taking this already active community to a place such as Facebook or Twitter is really just a logical step. But I think the crucial point here is that Activision’s choice was a calculated and deliberate effort to provide a focal point where they could engage with their audience to help improve their gaming experience whilst ultimately, refining their product. Successful adoption? I reckon.
About andrewdcookProject Manager/Animator/Beer Snob
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