Sunday, 13 December 2009

Random Ramblings of a Video Game Blogger : Do Video Game Developers Need to be More Interactive?

FIFA 10 Screenshot 

FIFA 10 Screenshot via Google

The Yanks (USA) have American Idol while us in the UK have X Factor. Every Saturday night everyone tunes into iTV 1 in preparation for the talent show to air. The cell phones (mobile phones) come out and people log onto Twitter to chat with their friends for free, about the show’s events. Aah Twitter. Most of us have a Twitter page (including me) because they’re a great way to communicate with people all over the world. So it really is no surprise that the show, X Factor, has one too. Right now it’s a Saturday night, the latest X Factor episode has been and gone and like always I’m looking at the official Twitter for the show and it makes me think : Do Video Games Need to be More Interactive? Seriously, if one person can communicate with millions of people all over the world, why can’t  developers and publishers, some with hundreds of employees, stay connected to the fans?

Developers proclaim it all the time that it’s the “fans feedback” that helped them to make such an excellent game, for example, in the latest issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine (on sale now ; D ) David Rutter from the team behind FIFA 10 says that the game is “something that resonates with fans and delivers the experience that they want” but it is enough?

When GTA IV was released, the Rockstar team could be found in the online modes running around pwning n00bs with the rest of us and there was even a trophy (PS3) or an achievement (Xbox 360) available if you killed a Rockstar employee. It’s nice to see that quite often developers and publishers stay connected with players long after their game’s release such as with Little Big Planet team Media Molecule and their blog. The PlayStation Blog regularly features guest posts from members of development teams with upcoming games and it’s a marvellous way to interact with video gamers everywhere. Now, not to sound like a Sony Fan Girl (which I’m not) but when I get corporate/automated e-mails from the Xbox website I think to myself “how many people visit the site?”.

So, once again I’m doing my bit for the gaming community ; I say this to developers and publishers alike – start interacting with gamers before your user-base drops off entirely!

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