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Monday, May 16, 2011

BioWare is Doing Customer Interaction the Right way

Game makers like any other product or service provider has an inherit interest in creating and maintaining, good relations with their customer base. In the world of MMORPG games this is especially true because they are able to generate revenue via monthly payments and or item store transactions.

            Star Wars: The Old Republic has got to be one of the most anticipated and followed games in quite some time. Already there is a vibrant and engaging community built around it and it would appear there already is a very large player base that can’t wait to get their hands on this title. For over 2 years now BioWare has been slowly releasing details about their little project and have milked the hype of this IP for all its worth.   

            Since their website went live over two years ago, BioWare has been feeding little pieces of information, enticing us with tidbits about the game and little views of the awesomeness to come. Most game companies will do this, especially when it comes with such an anticipated IP like Star Wars. However the ability to maintain everyone’s interest and excitement is difficult to do, especially over a two year span, but BioWare has done an excellent job of including the community and giving potential players a feeling that they are already apart of something.

            Keep in mind that this game has yet to enter a Beta testing phase and already BioWare has created a portal where one can create a Guild and start recruiting. Potential players are able to browse guilds and match them to their preferred guild type to include PVP or PVE, hardcore or casual and roll playing among other choices. Guilds can even go live the day the game is released by meeting some minor requirements. In a lot of ways BioWare is working more with guilds than other games have ever done.

            Now consider the fact that they have already allowed quite a lot of people to play portions of this game including opening it up to the public to try. Most games will not even let their game footage be seen before Open Beta starts. Also they have been very open with community fan sites even inviting them to their headquarters for some one-on-one time with the game and the developers. lastly they recently posted on the official forums in an effort to gauge public interest in a meet and greet during E3. Excuse me??? open invitation for the public to meet you??
           Whether it happens or not it is very impressive even to offer this kind of access. It might all be a cleverly constructed PR campaign, but it truly doesn't matter, this kind of interaction and forethought shows that at some level BioWare is really concerned about this game and those who might play it. Bravo BioWare.  

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