Career Spotlight: Community Managers
08 / 08 / 18
Community Managers work as the channel of communication between the studio team and game communities. Community Manager Katherine Stull is here to share the roles and responsibilities of her job in our latest Career Spotlight!
What does a community manager do?
Community Managers keep game communities as informed as possible. This is done through a variety of methods, including social media management, forums management, asset creation, livestreams, and influencer relations. Community managers are responsible for knowing as much about the game as possible in order to answer community questions. They use this knowledge to ask for informed feedback from the community that they bring back to the rest of the team for implementation. They also are often responsible for interviews, gameplay demos, and attending game conferences.
How can I become a community manager?
The ability to communicate is extremely important. A great way to practice communicating with games communities is to join one – make a forums account, start conversations on Twitter, or join a local game development group. If you ever find yourself in the position to take on a moderator role in these communities, that’s an excellent opportunity too.
There’s no one path to becoming a community manager – personally, I went for a degree in Media Arts and Game Development, while the studio’s other community manager focused on Marketing. What was most important was getting as involved in game communities as possible. I spent a lot of time writing about League of Legends and organizing collegiate organizations and tournaments – all experiences that have been very useful in preparing me for this career.
What skills are most important?
- Self-awareness: Community management is a very forward-facing role – your actions can be representative of the game and your studio.
- Strong written/oral communication: You are the link between the team and the community. Being a strong communicator ensures that everyone is on the same page.
- Positivity: When working with games communities, it’s important to know how to handle criticism and make sure the community’s thoughts are heard.
- Industry knowledge: An awareness of what’s happening in other game communities, what’s new, and how gamers are communicating online allows you to make informed decisions as an insider.
- Organization skills: Community managers always have to multitask, as there is a steady flow of community-requested tasks that overlap with daily tasks and may be time- sensitive.
- Pop culture knowledge: Besides keeping up with gaming culture, it’s also a good idea to be aware of what’s trending online and what’s new in pop culture. It can help you create relevant content that will resonate with a wider audience.
What challenges do community managers face?
When something goes wrong with a game or there’s a new update that the community isn’t a fan of, community managers need to respond quickly and calmly. They need to remain emotionally detached from any harsh comments that may come through and focus on how the issues may be fixed.
What’s the best part of working as community manager for a games studio?
I love when community suggestions are integrated into the game’s design. The community gets so excited about seeing their thoughts turn into tangible changes, and seeing their reactions is always great.
Looking for an even deeper dive into community management? Visit our blog, “Community Management: Beyond the Forums.”