Interviewed 2013. Games even after release are services that need to be kept alive by the community managers. The community managers play a vital role by distributing information from the studio and giving them feedback.
You know, movies you, it's almost far and forget. You make a movie. You ship it. You put on DVD. That's what is it. it's product. And, and it's, uh, eh, not a [maluable] organic living thing. A game is often a service and you look at World of WarCraft and Halo and Counter Strike, all those games are also a service and they, new things happen all the time. New content gets added to it and new rules come around and you can't, you can't expose people to that stuff without having a conversation with them. Um, and the communities, uh, and community managers end up being a two way process where you're feeding information out and in some ways that's sort of -- it's not really marketing. I think that you can be cynical and say, "Community manager is like a PR guy." It's not the same thing. These are your, these are the people who are distributing information that you requested. That's not PR. That's the opposite of PR. Um, and it's two ways. So, the community manager also becomes a filter for, uh, the, the community to get their ideas or their complaints or their, uh, plaudits rarely, um, back into the, the, the studio. And we have to look at it in a very sort of careful perspective because you get the noisiest complaints could often come from the smallest constituencies. And everyone thinks they're right. So, the guy who thinks that the, the battle rifle is overpowered he's convince he's right. So, when somebody says, "No, the carbine is the most overpowered gun." He's also right. And the, you know, the, the thing they forget is we actually have the numbers and, and we can sort of crunch the data and look at the, the thing pretty scientifically and in, in a fairly [unintelligible] fashion. But you also have to take their opinion seriously and sometimes say, "Well, why does he think the battle rifle is overpowered? And what are the encounters that he's in that's having a dissatisfying time? And is it simply too hard for him? Or eh, are the other things, uh, sort of interacting with this huge matrix of components that we have in our game?" And, and it's really useful. And it's not, it's not scientific research and it tends to be pretty anecdotal, but there are numbers we can pull out of that and there are patterns that we can detect and, uh, movements that we can respond to. And so, and, it, it ends up being the locust of the conversation between the studio. And I say that, eh, eh, as opposed to say Microsoft the corporation because Microsoft the corporation in some ways doesn't care about it. The studio does. And it's n-, necessary part of us, again, keeping this game alive as a service and, uh, and, uh, sort of a good reminder, uh, to have perspective and to continue to r-, remind yourself about who you're making these games for and, uh, what are the best ways to make them.