Bolt Creative’s iPhone game, Pocket God, is one of the most successful games in the App Store. They have sold over 2 million units in a little over one year. Furthermore, the game has accumulated a loyal fan base—an impressive feat that many games never achieve. Bolt Creative’s success in building a strong following can be credited, in part, to their genuine appreciation of and attentiveness to the Pocket God community.
When the game was new to the scene, Bolt Creative CEO, Dave Castelnuovo, would check out fan comments and gather real feedback. He made sure that players who spent $0.99 to download Pocket God knew that their voices were being heard and that their comments would be taken into account by responding to both praise and criticism. It is important to offer fans a communication channel to share their opinions. Now there is an array of useful tools available to monitor and manage comments on various social network sites so that it is easier. Castelnuovo recommends, however, having a presence on a limited selection of social networking sites rather than trying to be everywhere. He suggests choosing a format that suits your strengths and focusing your energy there, specifically.
The Bolt Creative team encouraged their Pocket God users to get involved by expressing appreciation for their fans’ creative contributions. For example, when fans sent in cartoon artwork of pygmy characters from the game, Castelnuovo would post their work on the game’s website. Once fans saw that their work was being acknowledged, even more contributions were submitted, increasing engagement even further.
This Saturday, March 13 at GDC in San Francisco, Dave Castelnuovo will be sharing more insight on community development and engagement. Check out the session “Ongoing User Engagement: How to Listen to Your Community” in Room 131, North Hall at 1:30 pm. He will be revealing tips for creating and managing a strong community fan base.