This is a bit of an old experience of mine but I was inspired by Brian Alkerton with his disccussion of cheezy gaming advertising . Someone I’ve really admired in the electronic gaming industry is Peter Molyneux current creative director at Microsoft Game Studios Europe. A saying from him that really has stuck around with me was’ Reach for the stars and come out with something special’ ( can’t find the exact wording….). But what was really important and that had a lot of impact for me was a game he developed a while ago ( 2000-2004) . Despite going through a name change ( Project Ego to Fable) and taking close to 4 years to make its been hard to find a product that ever made me so excited. He made an experience around this product’s development that was memorable and stuck with me.
So what did he do to make this product launch truly special:
Shared His Excitement About the Product: While he received some criticism for his openness with game journalists he spoke with great excitement about the game. He fully stood behind his product and weaved a strong story around it. Screen shots and game information were shared throughout the development process. Peter and his development firm weren’t afraid about sharing details even those that weren’t completely solidified. This excitement was contagious and kept fans wanting more.
Community engagement: During development and even after the game launched Lionhead Studios interacted with its community. Through a central forum they released trailers and other product teasers and discussed the process of the game. As a fan you really felt like part of the process. They weren’t afraid about being perceived as un-professional or whether they were going against industry norms they were more concerned about sharing with the community that came together around the game.
The above image to the uninformed person just looks like a regular DVD. But this was the final tested version of the game, the final files before its sent to production. Most gaming studios never shared such a moment, but considering the development time of the game Lionhead felt it was important to share such an milestone.The long wait was almost done!
So what can be learned from this other than I’m a giant geek…. well to me it shows the importance of sharing with your companies fans and that product development and even day to day operations can weave stories and create relationships with your customers. By just releasing a product or just providing a service with nothing else your company is forgettable and is just like every other but by becoming more open and creating an experience you can turn your service or product into something much more memorable.