Meeting the players
Working together with the player community has always been important for us at Critical Force. Already in 2012, at the time of our first game Critical Strike Portable, we got a lot of help and feedback in developing the game. Some of our players and members of our community have stuck with our games ever since!
Our current flagship game, Critical Ops, has also been developed with the support of our players. The game has been in soft launch since 2015, and the official launch is yet to come.
“We especially get a lot of valuable feedback from our pro scene and major clans, often regarding issues that we weren’t aware of at all”, says Critical Ops’ lead designer Tim Spaninks. “This is because the pro players take the game to a completely different level and this is something that has been very hard for us to prepare for beforehand.”
So, to keep up the good relations, some members of our Community Team travelled all the way from Northern Finland (and one from California) to Las Vegas, Nevada, to meet some of our pro players and hang out with them for a couple of days.
Let’s hear what The Head of our Community Team, Juri Juskevits, has to say about the results of this social occasion!
“We had two of the best NA teams present, GankStars and Imperials, as well as one of the regular casters for the Critical Ops scene, Illshotz” tells Juri.
“From Critical Force we had a couple of Community Management Team members. In addition to myself and my colleague Ville, we had Suvi, who is responsible for our influencer program, and Watkins who is our US representative. Wattie does a lot of work with the community and the competitive teams.”
The time was spent by talking with the players. The Community Team and the players went through things that make players excited about the game, as well as what frustrates or annoys them. But not all of the time was just game talk!
“We spent the days exploring the city of Vegas together. In the evenings there was a lot of playing of Critical Ops and talking. Players had a lot of questions for us and we sure had a bunch of questions for them!” says Juri.
“For us it was very valuable to build personal connections with representatives of our player community and hear their voices, as well as the voices of the fans following these great teams and players”, Juri sums up the CF way of communicating with the player community.
“For the players it was important to get to know us and hear about our plans for the game in general, and competitive side of it in particular.”
Why is this kind of activity profitable to our game, community and company?
First of all, meeting people in person enhances the communication with the players and the teams. That way we get direct feedback from the users. The direct feedback will help us to spot and tackle the problems with our game and therefore offer a better gaming experience in the future.
As a company and as a game studio we also appreciate and value the teams and their members as influencers among our player community. The teams and players have a lot of followers and fans and the content they share during and after the event like this is invaluable. They share the information we want to deliver to our players, as they share the good word of us and our game.
The meeting was not meant only for us, even though we got a lot of precious things from it. It was as much for the teams and for our player community. “When the horrible event Vegas shooting happened, and it was clear that the FPS tournament Vegas a week later is not possible, we still felt that we have to offer something for the teams and players already involved in the plans, as well as the player community as a whole”, says Juri.