Fan Sites Are Making a Difference

Mark Taylor showcases some of the Exile side of Carbine's new MMO, Wildstar. Mark is accompanied by Unindel, Arawulf, and Anhrez from the community's Fan sites.

The header for this article demonstrates the union between game based Fan Sites and Gaming Media companies, and also their mutual love of the gaming industry and the respective games they play.  Many MMOs that have come out over the last 10 years or so have had pretty strong followings.  Specifically, those MMOs that claim the Triple-A status.  A lot of these games have launched to varying degrees of success, and even more have plummeted to the depths of MMO hell.  The one great thing in this has always been the pre-hype communities that have been created.  A lot of folks want to cast this aside or overlook it as NERD drama or activity; however, the reality is that many legit friendships form throughout the race and pace of MMO X and its proverbial trek to launch.

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A great example of this was Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I mean, could you ever imagine a company flying in Fan Sites from around the world and hosting them 3 days?  Who could forget this.

That was then, and this is now.  SWTOR had a great launch, and a slow decline of memberships until it hit the magical Free-To-Play model.  Many of those Fan Sites are gone now, and it is arguable that it is due to the lack of support from the gaming company in a post-launch world.  Again, I have personal insight to that from my days running the TOR Syndicate… which sadly is no more…

So, I’m not here to bum you out or beat up on SWTOR; rather, I am here to let yo know that many gaming companies learned from this example and have made great strides to get in touch with the Fan communities early and in a more personal way that is less expensive. Carbine held their Archship event last year, and Zenimax held their Media Event in late 2012.  The point, many of the gaming companies are seeing the value in working with the community fan sites early.  This is from a practical and financial reason.  The truth, let the Fan Sites do the marketing for the companies, in return for access to the games, the devs, and the content earlier than anyone else.  The other thing; it shows a connection to the regular gamer.  Often the costs are minimal and the rewards are great.


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