Much can be learned from Cloud Imperium Games approach to social media when it comes to Star Citizen. Years have passed since the crowd funded project took to news headlines and broke world records. So in response, I’ve always urged young people interested in games development to follow the Star Citizen project. Not just to learn from the game’s development but to adopt approaches CIG have taking in their social media campaign.
Did you watch that short video and hear the music created just for this game?
Never before have we been allowed to experience so much of game, long before it is finished. This partly because the project is crowd funded and the brains behind the game, Chris Roberts, wants the community to feel well updated on his teams progress.
If you browse YouTube, you’ll discover hundreds of videos, official and none official. A massive number of those videos focus on discussing new assets i.e. ships, ground vehicles, character clothes, character armour, weapons and more. What you’ll quickly notice on taking up advice to absorb yourself in SC videos, is that the game’s technology and expertise are also well shared.
This constant sharing became easy for CIG, once they had their video graphics and procedures. They generate new social media content on a weekly basis despite still developing the game. I can’t wait to see what they produce when SC is released.
Alien Languages and Facial Recognition
One of the most exciting pieces of information CIG gave us is the hiring of linguistic experts for the purpose of creating new languages for alien races. That was something that begun happening 2-3 years ago. Just a week back, CIG demonstrated facial recognition technology at GamesCom and it will allow our characters to express what we express. The facial recognition is backed by their own camera device which is branded with RSI (Roberts Space Industries). If you don’t know, RSI is a corporation in the SC universe, yes that’s right, CIG is selling hardware branded by an element that only exists in the lore of a game.
This level of sharing is unheard of in the gaming industry but the important fact is a lack of publisher. There is no publisher and CIG have full control of their game which has allowed me to react to community responses/feedback better than I’ve ever seen done by any other games studio.
Someone once used Google Trends to compare Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous with the objective being to criticise CIG. The well-known person who compared them publically ignored the fact that ED was being released within the timeline shown on the graph and SC still had more than 12 months before release.
I’ve come across plenty people in my life, who push facts aside to present something in a way that suits their agenda. That won’t work in this case and here is why.
- The blue line representing Star Citizen actually peaks above the red line representing Elite: Dangerous. That is unusual for a topic that is at an earlier stage than another topic which has gone through the same process i.e. the development and release of a computer game.
- Even after the release of ED the SC project continues to maintain a steady rate of interest. Keeping in mind that the ED game is released and is an active online product being offered to PC gamers. My point is that the audience for the SC project (because it’s not a full game yet) is very strong and such a constant level of interest in a project is very interesting.
- The very latest data indicates more of the same despite the ED game being out for almost a year. Interest in ED spikes and then drops back down to a level expected for any active online service. SC rarely spikes which also means it doesn’t have sudden losses of interest. I believe this is due to a real social media campaign and not a marketing focused campaign conducted by Frontier, the creators of ED.
If Chris Roberts continues to demand perfection of his games development and the social media published to show it off. Then the trend for SC will maintain a steady average and once the game is released that average will increase greatly.
I’ve drawn horizontal lines to represent my prediction for 2018. It’s not about comparing SC and ED based on how good the games are. There are far too many factors involved to suggest that these graphics help us to decide which game is better. The point being made is on social media and how two games that are being compared have very different social campaigns.
This is one of those subjects that can be debated all day and I could author a blog post 500% longer but as a keen Star Citizen myself I’m at risk of being bias. There is lots of evidence to backup my opinion that CIG has conducted an Elite marketing campaign which makes exemplary use of free social media. The evidence that can or cannot be found on ED social activity is irrelevant because this post is about how social media matters – some developers are too old school to understand that and it lets them down.
If you want specifics, more evidence to debate over, just say and I’ll reply with content in comments below. I simply recommend that you look at the games YouTube channel and then find another game that has such a strong channel before even being complete.