Gamer Launch CEO Stephen Johnston Discusses Evolution of Brand and Expanded Support

Guild Launch isn't just for guilds! Gamer Launch CEO chats about the name change, MMOs, MOBAs, and gamer communities.

For those of you who do not know, GameSkinny and Gamer Launch (formerly Guild Launch) are both owned and developed under the Launch Media Network umbrella.

Over the past eight years, Guild Launch has grown and expanded, providing social and organizational tools for guilds and gaming groups all over the world. Over time, we've had much more than MMO players creating GL websites and MMO gamers have applied our tools to other multiplayer games, and we've continued to support them.

Today we're talking with CEO Stephen Johnston about the Gamer Launch rebranding, the direction the company is going in, and some of the exciting features and games that Gamer Launch will continue to support.

The new GamerLaunch.com

Why have we changed the name from Guild Launch to Gamer Launch?

Stephen Johnston: We support more than 600 games. That support encompasses guild, clans, kinships, teams, communities, and much more.

We have been looking for a name that could encompass all of these types of groups and just one name "Guild" for all the different organizations of players didn't fit.

We realized that "Hey, all of our users are gamers. Let's focus on the gamers themselves, not just the what they call the in-game organization." So, away we went with GamerLaunch.com.

What are some of the games we are expanding the Gamer Launch service to and why?

SJ: In the near term, a large part of our focus is on MOBAs. The current MOBAs like SMITE, League of Legends and DotA have huge player bases that need social and organization tools just as much as our MMO and multiplayer users do.

Some Gamer Launch users may be worried that this change means less of a commitment to Guild Launch's MMORPG roots. What can you say to dispel this fear?

SJ: We have always focused on where the gamers are and what they are playing. We have deep support all of the MMOs and we have zero interest in abandoning those roots.

The fact is, we've had a multi-game focus for years. We're just finally changing the name to match that focus.

Competitive multiplayer games have been shown some love with the new tournament bracket feature, what are some other new features that you are excited about?

SJ: Tournament brackets are a big one, but we've also worked through the entire UI and naming conventions to make sure that if you come to Gamer Launch and setup a MOBA site that it uses MOBA terminology and if you setup an MMO site it uses MMO terminology. That sounds simple, but the amount of research and consideration we have to give that to support 600+ games is enormous.

In addition, we have an entirely new system dedicated to just tracking teams. We expect these will be used largely by MOBA teams, but they are usable by anyone who wants a team within the larger community.

We've also just added new Twitch functionality that highlights Twitch streamers on user's GL sites. We even made a little area to promote them on our site at http://www.gamerlaunch.com/twitch/.

Gamer Launch has partnered with Hi-Rez as SMITE's official clan hosting website, what future aspirations do we have for the MOBA community?

SJ: We want to be the #1 Gamer Community site in the universe, and partnering with one of the most successful MOBAs is a major step towards that goal. SMITE has a large, dedicated fanbase that just contributed mightily to a $2.6m prize pool for the SMITE World Championship tournament and we are very excited about that partnership.

We can't announce all of the things we have in mind for SMITE or the other MOBAs we might work with, but one of our goals is even deeper SMITE API integration. We just released phase 1 of our SMITE API integration, which includes general player data, before the SMITE World Championship in January. That functionality will have continual updates that we're very excited about.

Questions, comments, concerns? Ask below, and Stephen will answer!

Contributor

Published Feb. 2nd 2015

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