Jul 25

Bubble Witch Saga’s International Game Community Management Strategy in Review

The Witching Hour: Game Community Management in Bubble Witch Saga

You may have heard of King.com via its plethora of successful Facebook games such as Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. King.com’s incredibly simple, and therefore incredibly addictive games have caught up with the Internet the world over. The bright colors and simple concepts make the games attractive to people of all ages. The question is, how does King.com keep their gamers happy? International community management is the answer, and they have the immense job of handling plenty of ardent fans from around the globe. Let’s take a look at Bubble Witch Saga.

Bubble Witch Saga is active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as on their own specialized forums. Like any good international community management team they must deal with fans’ complaints, problems, and ideas while promoting the game. They also keep a channel of communication open between players and developers. They’re sort of like the referee in a football match; they want the best performance for both teams and they’re there to resolve any issues, protect your interests, and keep everyone well informed. For example, recently on Bubble Witch Saga there was a rumor spreading that it was possible to obtain around 5,000 free Facebook credits. Community managers are there to dispel said rumors and keep you informed:

BW1

Rumors such as these can often cause friction with disappointed players, and this is where community managers have to step in to diffuse the situation. Issues like these are what community managers deal with on a daily basis; on the Internet rumors spread like wildfire, and they are there to contain it.

Community management is not always visible on Bubble Witch Saga, but that does not mean they are not observing and monitoring the community. They will step in when needed, and on channels such as their Facebook and Twitter pages they provide useful and entertaining updates on the game. In fact, the forums are quite cleverly set up. Gamers post questions and fellow gamers answer, which creates a sense of community within the game. Truly desperate questions like losing money you spent can be directed at customer support, but other questions can be answered by other gamers. This doesn’t signify that the community managers don’t care – it’s quite the opposite in fact – by abstaining from the conversation they are stimulating discussion amongst users to promote the community and strengthen it.  However, it can go the other way, and one question leads to a list of questions that the community managers need to answer.  Here is one such example:

BW2

Bubble Witch Saga also has its own website which hosts forums and support pages. This demonstrates the success of the game, and makes it easier for community managers to see what gamers have to say about Bubble Witch Saga. When it comes to the forums, the layout is clear and succinct – a player instantly knows where they should go for whatever they need. Moreover, fans in the forums appear happy overall, and when they aren’t, community management is there to offer support. King.com is setting a fair example of what community management should be. Without effective community management their games wouldn’t be half the success that they are and, by the level of attention to their support, it’s evident that they are aware of this.

However, it is not always obvious how to access forums or support pages in other languages, as everything is in English. This could be a problem for those who enjoy the games, but know no English. On Google Play you can find Bubble Witch Saga in French and Spanish, but when you visit the Facebook page or official website, everything is in English. While it is useful that you can access the game in different languages, it could be a little difficult for the gamer if a lot of the information and support is only available in English. However, use of other languages by Bubble Witch Saga can be found, such as on their Twitter. A fan asks something in Spanish, and they are replied to in Spanish. If there is enough demand, then perhaps there should be a separate Twitter page for Spanish, as well as for any other languages supported.

BW3

One aspect of the Bubble Witch Saga game community management that is an asset to King.com is the Facebook page. It is easily accessible, full of information, and clearly laid out. There are many useful pictures and updates to keep fans in the know. Similar to that is their Twitter with pictures and updates. However, again the Twitter posts are not localized into other languages, although there does seem to be a Spanish resource available to answer questions, as the above screenshot implies. For both Facebook and Twitter, much can be said about employing a multilingual community management strategy. Not having a variety of popular languages makes it harder for international fans to engage with the game. If there were localized community management then King.com could open up a whole world of new opportunities and possibly even expand into new markets.

There are two features which are missing on the Facebook page which is interesting to note. There is no wall for fans to post anything to, and there is no way to send a private message to Bubble Witch Saga. In this sense they aren’t accessible for communication, although they make the game easily available to users. The only way that gamers can communicate through the Facebook page is by making comments on the pictures and videos that are posted. This leads to many gamers trying to post questions on the comment section, derailing the topic and causing much confusion. Moreover, some users are simply spamming the posts by putting ads for coins and the aforementioned free Facebook credits, which suggests a neglect of moderation on this page. This is unhelpful for the majority of users and should be removed by the community management team. Here is one example of recent spam on the Bubble Witch Saga Facebook page:

BW4

These sorts of posts are annoying for gamers and community managers alike. However, if a gamer is forced to ask a question on such a post, they will get a notification from every other person who posts after them. For the gamer it can feel like all the other fans’ comments are spam, especially if they are not getting their questions answered by anyone. And not all the questions are answered, or if they are, it’s only after a significant amount of time. Questions are addressed sporadically. Moreover, if you have a question and you are on the Twitter/Facebook page, it’s not immediately obvious where you should go for customer support, nor whether there is any other language support for non-English speakers. Surely if you offer the game in French or Spanish then support for these languages should also be offered?

International community management is a challenge, and it is one that King.com and the community managers at Bubble Witch Saga have taken on relatively well. The game has a huge following and plenty of positive reviews. Information and useful data is provided to gamers as well as the opportunity to communicate with community mangers and other fans. They also prove that multilingual community management works, and can be discreet. Their style is to be emulated but King.com’s approach could be improved by offering an equal level of support for each of the languages that they cater to. Effective multilingual community management can help a business with its online community by reaching out to others who previously felt isolated, or even by reaching out to new markets. English may be a widely spoken language, but customers who are offered support in their own language will feel more comfortable interacting with that service and are much more likely to share their positive experiences. Game community management will never be a simple job, but when your fans are happy it is rewarding.

MO Group International is an expert in multilingual community management, and localization. With experience in over 40 languages, we can provide high-quality advice and professional services tailored to your business needs. Please head to the website for a quote on our services.

Jun 27

UNICEF and Star Wars Charity Event Kicks off – MO Group International Recognized as Founding Member

MO Group International Joins Star Wars: Force for Change to Support UNICEF’s Innovation Labs

Obi-Wan said that the Force binds the galaxy together. Now it’s time for Star Wars fans to come together to prove the weight of his words. The Star Wars: Force for Change charity sweepstake is supporting UNICEF’s Innovation Labs to help solve many of the common problems in developing countries. Some of their projects include: supplying rural communities with low-cost water hand-pumps, registering children so they can be reunited with their families after natural disasters, and the solar-powered Digital Drum which provides children with educational material in communities without electricity.

Continue reading “UNICEF and Star Wars Charity Event Kicks off – MO Group International Recognized as Founding Member” »

May 23

Multilingual Customer Support: Connecting with Gamers

Multilingual Customer Support for Gamers: Why You Should be Online

Over the past 25 years, the video game industry’s customer support systems have exploded to epic proportions. When we were youngsters playing Duck Hunt we never thought about connecting to the Internet to share our winning streak or to complain about how our Zapper didn’t work when we fired it a centimeter away from the screen. Now our online world blends so seamlessly into our gaming lives that it’s hard to imagine a gaming system without a multilingual customer support network. One of the foremost ways to connect with users is through social media, and for the gaming industry this has enhanced players’ ability to engage with each other, the brand, and customer support teams.

 

Continue reading “Multilingual Customer Support: Connecting with Gamers” »

Apr 24

Video Game Community Management and the Challenges of Content Sharing

The last seven years have seen monumental changes in terms of the way we share our interests and news with one another. Many of us have pairs of shoes older than Facebook, but instantly sharing content online has become as firmly fixed in our daily lives as that morning cup of coffee. Telling the world about your embarrassing faux-pas on the way to work isn’t banked for later, it’s out there before you’ve even stopped blushing.

This pedal-to-the-metal rush in sharing content has already added to the complexities of social media marketing, where companies try to preen and prune their online community, provide additional online services, and establish a social connection with their audience.

Only now is gaming truly entering this sphere; with ‘next gen’ consoles only being released every six or so years, Sony and Microsoft have had a lot of ground to catch up on this time. PlayStation and Xbox might have been tweeting and posting for years, but in November when the PS4 and Xbox One were released, gamers wanted to see their console’s hardware integrating with their digital social lives too. Sharing that jaw-dropping touchdown, or that game-ending sniper shot with friends and fellow gamers is as important as tagging your holiday snaps – it shares the moments that matter to you.

The PlayStation 4’s ‘Share’ button allows gamers to do just that with four button pushes. Although slightly more complicated, the One also supports content sharing, but with voice commands. Players can instantly upload content to Twitch, uStream, and soon YouTube, and from here these posts can be linked to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So what does this mean for international video game community management?  

Continue reading “Video Game Community Management and the Challenges of Content Sharing” »

Apr 11

A Cloud on the Horizon: Cloud Gaming’s Impact on Consoles and the World

1Last November we took note of the comeback of consoles and their most fearsome competitor yet – cloud gaming. Sony has readily joined the market by partnering with Gaikai who is powering streaming content to PS3, PS4 and the PSP usurper, PS Vita, which can stream your PS4 games right into your hands. This doesn’t mean that cloud gaming companies are settling into an auxiliary role – not at all – there are some among them who want their own platforms, their own games, and are already amassing the resources to do it.

 

Continue reading “A Cloud on the Horizon: Cloud Gaming’s Impact on Consoles and the World” »

Mar 13

Wargaming.net: Community Management on the Front Lines!

Wargaming.net is a franchise of games including World of Tanks (WOT), World of Warplanes (WOWP), World of Warships (WOWS) and not, as one might be forgiven for assuming, World of Warcraft. It is a huge MMO gaming platform that has been around for more than 15 years serving gamers from all over the world. With a significant social presence, Facebook and Twitter keep the community informed of updates while players can visit the worlds’ homepages not only to play, but to interact with each other. Plus they can talk to admin, or seek customer service.

 

Continue reading “Wargaming.net: Community Management on the Front Lines!” »

Mar 04

The Mountain of Social Media for Small Businesses – Why Start the Climb?

For startups or small businesses, it may seem that the social media mountain is insurmountable, and as impossible to climb as the North Face of the Eiger. But consider this: even the first steps of your ascent make you a whole lot more visible to your audience down at the base camp, and the base camp has 1.19 billion monthly users. Yep – billions; not millions.

Of those billion customers, not all of them will want a custom design toothbrush, but you’ve probably got a better chance of finding them at Mount Social than on your local high street. With so many blogs out there discussing the benefits of social media for startups and small businesses, we won’t keep you too long – you’ve got socializing to do!

 

Continue reading “The Mountain of Social Media for Small Businesses – Why Start the Climb?” »

Jan 31

Unsociable Media: Getting Your Messaging Right Online? It’s Elementary…

We know that when you’re developing your online presence you want to shout your message to the world. However, at MO Group International we understand that it’s just as important to pick and choose both the appropriate time and the appropriate message. An in-joke meant for your hard-earned community is not necessarily welcoming to your wider audience who have not yet committed to following you; they may not understand your message. Perhaps you want your brand to appear edgy, pop-culture savvy, and on the pulse of what’s ‘trending’, but there’s always merit in maintaining the core identity of your business without overusing the bright lights and megaphone. Your online presence takes time, and it also takes tact.

In short, you need to be balancing relevancy with substance and, most importantly, with sentiment.

 

Continue reading “Unsociable Media: Getting Your Messaging Right Online? It’s Elementary…” »