Epic’s “Support-A-Creator” event has been proving a largely successful way for the company to engage with its Fortnite players.
The initiative, launched on October 8, offers regular Fortnite content creators and streamers the chance to monetise their engagement with the game. Eligible creators can be supported by regular users who’s in-game purchases will contribute towards their personal wallet. For every 10,000 V-Bucks a regular user spends in the game, their chosen creator will get $5.
This time-limited event has already seen 1730 creators sign up as of October 10 and will last until the last day of this year. Epic sees this as a way of giving thanks to all its creators during the holiday season.
With an average spend of $1.5 million within Fortnite iOS and around $2.5 million already spent since the launch of Season 6, this is quite an inventive way to engage with an active community of Fornite players.
Not all community engagement needs to involve money, however. There are plenty more ways to effectively enchant your community of fans. Here are five ways you can do so.
1. Promote your top creators
The games industry has a large and wonderfully creative community. From streamers to cosplayers, YouTubers to fan artists and even expert bakers who will spend a whole day making that perfect Fortnite cake, complete with its own balloon dropping an edible crate. Delicious!
There is no lack of talent in games communities. A fan’s dedication to a game could make them want to pour months into lovingly crafting and sewing together a costume of their favourite character.
While the praise creators get from other fans seeing their work might be satisfaction enough, nothing can compare to getting recognised by the developers of their favourite game.
When coming across fan creations, entertaining let’s plays, or engaged streamers, give them a shout-out on your social media outlets. They will feel seen by their idols and engage even more with your game. If they are a streamer they might give you a shout-out back to their viewers.
You can always have a look at the twitter hashtag FanArtFriday for a fantastic collection of fan art and examples of how other games support their creative community.
2. Run a video blog
The creation of a game can often feel like a magical black box to many in the gaming community. Putting a face (or several faces) to a game can be a great way to break down these barriers between the developers and gamers.
It is not rare for studios to run a regular video blog, detailing news, updates and keeping their communities up to speed on the game and the people making it. Videos can show behind the scenes content, from trials and tribulations to funny office moments, and give fans a chance to build an emotional connection with those involved in the creation of the game.
Videos are a great way to show your community that there are people behind your game, making your community more engaged in the journey of your game.
3. Run competitions on social media
There are plenty of fans who collect items relating to their favourite games. Figurines, cups, t-shirts, books, even larger-than-life statues can become a popular merchandise item.
There is however one thing that is better than merchandise. Free merchandise of course and competitions on social media can be a great way to give them away to engaged fans.
Make sure your prize is a well sought after item. It doesn’t necessarily have to come at an expensive cost to you. Maybe it’s an old leftover art book from your Kickstarter days and you could get your whole team to sign the inside cover. With a few pen scribbles, suddenly your prize can become invaluable to many fans.
There are many ways to run competitions on social media. A simple sweepstake where fans must retweet and follow for a chance to win might do the trick. However you could also look at running an art competition, a bake-off, or maybe have modders of your game create a level – the winner gets their level put in the game.
4. In-game holiday events
A fantastic way to get your gaming community to engage with your game again is to run special holiday events. This is particularly great at re-igniting that spark in members of the community who might have lost interest over time.
With at least eight holidays in a year and four seasons, there are plenty of chances to add some festive flavour to your game. Overcooked released a full Festive Seasoning DLC to get more families playing over their Christmas holidays meanwhile Pokemon GO increased spawn rates of certain types of Pokemon depending on the holiday.
Overcooked’s Festive Seasoning DLC added new holiday-themed levels and lore to the game. (Source: Team 17)
5. Run a discord channel
Discord is a chat platform and a very popular way for studios to engage directly with their gaming communities. Complete with bots, memes and really good community management tools, Discord has become the home of many game’s digital families.
Both developers and their gaming community can use Discord to discuss anything, from recent game patches to how their days are going. It can be used to give your community a chance to input into the development or improvement of the game as they engage directly with its creators.
Direct engagement can feel invaluable to fans of a game and can make them feel like they are part of the team. They will feel involved and invested in the game on a personal level and want to dedicate more of their time and love to your game.