The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
In the past few months I joined Twitter.
I am not a prolific social media personality or even fluent in
the modern day social media lingo. In
context, I was in college 10 years ago when Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook. At the time access was restricted to users
with an ".edu" e-mail address. We used
the exclusivity to post pictures that we did not want our family to see. After my mother joined Facebook I remained
logged off for a few years and in my resurface to social media on Twitter I
remain thankful that my mother is not (yet) on Twitter.
Just like a carrier pigeon...except blue and tiny which only allows for 140 characters per message.
As a gamer I have discovered that Twitter is a magical space
on the internet where game developers are interactive with players in real
time conversations. It's a space where
Community Managers are geniuses who can maintain the activity of a game's
social media with daily interactions that spurs other fans to join in rather than to move onto the Twitter account of the next big release.
In mass popular culture, gaming remains an outlier. Consider this. Naughty Dog has 483,000 Twitter followers,
Larry Hryb (Xbox spokesperson) has 657,000 Twitter followers, and BioWare has
346,000 Twitter followers. In comparison,
the original Teen Moms of MTV's popular realty television show of the same name
have the following follower count - Farrah Abraham 911,000 - Maci Bookout 1.27
million - Catelynn Lowell 844,000. Yep,
major video game personalities and developers have less Twitter followers than
MTV reality stars.
In my short time on Twitter, I have noticed a few developers
with Community Managers who are particularly adroit at maintaining an
interactive Twitter account.
343 Industires (Halo 4), @HaloWaypoint
@HaloWaypoint is described as the "Official account for 343
Industries, developer of Halo 4."
Halo 4 launched in November 2012 and the following year in
October 2013 Halo 4: Game of the Year Edition released. With a one and a half year old game, the
Twitter account remains active with freebie contests, Halo trivia, announcements
of new multiplayer modes, highlights of community members' Halo themed art, and
responses to fans' inquiries.
My new purchase of the Halo 4: GOTY edition combined with my
status as a Halo noob left me unsure of how to integrate into the multiplayer
community. With the maximum level at
130, special unlocks, and the propensity of players voting for preferred game
modes I was a newbie in an well-established community. However, @HaloWaypoint's active Twitter assured me that new kids remained welcome and to jump on into the fray. I booted up the game and attempted its multiplayer over a year after its initial release. I customized my Spartan (a steaming coffee cup icon is available as a personal emblem). In matches, I laughed when a player controlled flying craft flew past me and the turret I manned only to come back from behind and run me over. I laughed harder when I nabbed the spawned concussion rifle and got a double kill. Sure I made silly mistakes but in the frantic gameplay of Halo there is always another match in a few minutes and a new multiplayer mode to try.
@HaloWaypoint continues Tweeting throughout each day
interacting with its players and constantly coming up with clever response
quips. In response to my own comment
@HaloWaypoint and I had the following exchange which encouraged me to jump into
the game despite my newness:
Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns/Shadowrun: Dragonfall),
Now considered one of the famous video game KickStarter
stories, Harebrained Schemes released Shadowrun Returns in July 2013 and just
dropped the Shadowrun Dragonfall expansion in February 2014.
Shadowrun Returns is a favorite of mine from 2013 and I am
eager to try out Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
The series is a 2D isometric turn based adventure. Building character stats, conversation
choices unlocking based on character attributes, turn based combat, and novella
type descriptions for in-game interactions hooked me. I was reminded of the type of games that
originally began my time sink into gaming engrossed in creative and imaginative
My only frustration
was a checkpoint save system that had limited checkpoints which kept me from
playing the final chapter due to the time commitment needed to see the sequence
to the end. While mourning the
insufficient time during my lunch break at work to begin and complete the
chapter I voiced my gaming frustrations via Twitter. Harebrained Schemes not only playfully
responded but informed me that accompanied with the Shadowrun: Dragonfall expansion was a new save
system that included a save system patch for Shadowrun Returns.
Getting the opportunity to gleefully sink my time in
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is one of my next most anticipated gaming goals.
Rare (Kinect Sports), @RareLtd
Rare's media blitz for Kinect Sports Rivals is
stunning. Kinect Sports is a bright spot
in the Kinect's limited game library.
Personally, I am a fan of the franchise's rendition of soccer. Many if not most gamers remain dubious about
the Kinect's long term durability and ability to anchor a "must play"
Xbox One's Kinect based Rare title is Kinect Sports Rivals
which is unreleased but a free playable demo is available. Using the free demo, Rare hosted a worldwide
contest for wake racing throughout February 2014 with in-game prizes for the
inhabitants of the winning country (New Zealand was the victor). Even without the demo, Rare keeps its Twitter
active with a weekly Rare themed cake picture, engages in obscure Rare trivia,
and interacts with their followers. But
the most impressive accomplishment?
This past Friday's cake was a goodbye to an employee, Mike, who is moving to Spain with a Banjo-Mike (in lieu of Banjo-Kazooie).
I have not yet had the pleasure (or the finances while I
plan my wedding) to upgrade to the next console generation. But I can tell you that Kinect Sports Rivals
releases on April 8, 2014 because of Rare's active and interesting Twitter feed. Congrats Rare, your Twitter account got
me. Good luck on April 8!
(Gamer pro tip for wedding planning: When your fiancée agrees that you can include
an Xbox One in the wedding registry do not later refer to your wedding day as "the
day I get an Xbox One." Trust me on
Xbox Support, @XboxSupport
Xbox is on Twitter @XboxSupport and boasts "Guinness World
Record Holder: Most Responsive Brand on Twitter!" This claim may in fact be true based on my
own experience and the fact that I abhor making telephone calls to customer
service hotlines for a variety of reasons.
I bought the season pass for Telltale Games' The Wolf Among
Us which gives me access to episodes 2, 3, 4, and 5 for the price of 3 episodes. The Wolf Among Us, Episode Two: Smoke and
Mirrors became available on the Xbox 360 on February 5, 2014. On February 6, 2014 I bought the season pass
for $14.99 but upon queuing the download for episode 2 I was prompted to pay
the $4.99 cost for individual episodes.
On the same day of episode two's release, Xbox Support
informed gamers via Twitter that Xbox was investigating the bug that many were
experiencing where The Wolf Among Us season pass holders could not download
episode 2 without paying for the episode again.
By the next day Xbox Support instituted a short term solution of
providing season pass owners with a redeemable code for episode 2 and asked all
impacted by the bug to wait 48 hours for their code.
After 2 days, I didn't receive my code and faced with the
dilemma of paying for the season pass but unable to download episode 2 without
paying an additional cost, I considered my options. I abhor making telephone calls to customer
service hotlines for a variety of reasons and I also did not want to wait
further for episode 2. So, I sent a
Within minutes I received a response. Constricted to 140 characters I exchanged
several tweets with @XboxSupport in roughly the same amount of time I would
spend on hold while on the telephone.
Instead of listening to customer service's music on a loop, I checked my
Twitter from my smartphone and responded accordingly while I continued my
day. By the end of the day I received a
code for episode 2 which downloaded flawlessly.
My only problem? I had an early
morning the next morning and I did not have the time to begin playing the
game. Overall, the solution was a series
of tweets and an e-mail with my account information.
Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall), @Respawn
@Respawn is "The Official Twitter Feed of Respawn
Entertainment, creators of Titanfall."
The game developer was famously interactive with Titanfall's players
during the recent Titanfall beta.
Information releases continue trickling through @Respawn as well as the
Twitter accounts of multiple Respawn employees.
Official announcements are even disclosed through the various Respawn Twitter
accounts such as Vince Zampella @VinceZampella (co-founder of Respawn and
co-creator of the Call of Duty franchise) tweeting "About playing early: We won't
stop or ban legit copies. It is
prelaunch, so there may be interruptions in service as we prep servers." The information made headlines at many video
game news outlets.
In a Titanfall fun fact Mr. Zampella tweeted that he is
curious who will receive the numbered 1 copy of Titanfall's Collector's
Edition, he has number 34.
Personally, I stumbled onto the Twitter conversation below
Matthew Everett, Electronic Arts' Community Manager for Titanfall, and Abbie
Heppe, the Community Manager for Respawn Entertainment.
I am Megan Hammond, @rhia29, and I voiced my support for a
subtitled English Titanfall trailer. Mr. Everett positively responded to my comment. While his
response is no guarantee, it is both a response and attempt at adding subtitles
to Titanfall's trailer. I am
Clearly I am an Xbox gamer given my Twitter examples but
nevertheless gaming is gaming. Twitter
is perfect for quick answers to gamers' burning questions, for continuing the
conversation long after and long before the game's release, as well as for validating players' questions
Plus, I got a Twitter favorite from Respawn!
Are you on Twitter?
Do you use social media to follow up on your favorite games?
What is your preferred social media avenue for connecting with your favorite game developers?