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:
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:
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.
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:
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.