Guild Chat - Episode 64
Guild Chat - Episode 64
- The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.
Guild Chat episode 64 aired on June 1, 2018. Rubi Bayer interviewed Mike Silbowitz, Regina Buenaobra, and Stéphane Lo Presti, all from the Marketing Department. They discuss the wiki, community events, and planning marketing campaigns.
Guild Chat studio [6:52]
Rubi Bayer: Hi, Tyria. Happy Friday, and welcome back to Guild Chat. I'm your host, Rubi, and something we do on Guild Chat, as most of you know if you've been watching for a while, is throw the spotlight on various dev teams in the ArenaNet studio. What we're going to do today though is throw the spotlight on our own team. My dev guests today are from Content Marketing in the Marketing department. So why don't you guys go through and introduce yourselves and talk about what you do here.
Mike Silbowitz: Sure. Hello. I am Mike Silbowitz. I am the Head of Global Marketing here at ArenaNet.
Rubi: Hahaha. This is going to be so good.
Mike: I manage our Global Marketing team, so everything soup to nuts from Brand, Products, Channel, Interactive Content, all the good things.
Regina Buenaobra: Hey, I'm Regina Buenaobra and I lead the Content Marketing team and what we do on the Content Marketing team is spotlight the game through content and community engagement, and so our team manages all of our social media channels, you know, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram. We produce our live streams and web content in partner program, like, a lot of stuff.
Stéphane Lo Presti: Hi everybody. I'm Stéphane Lo Presti. I'm a Content Marketing Manager, so I'm like Rubi and I work under Regina's leadership, and I manage our Instagram channel, our wikis and a couple of other things. I help with the live streams and videos and do a lot of marketing stuff behind the scenes.
Rubi: Thank you guys. So we will be taking questions at the end, if you have questions throw them in chat and we'll try to get through a couple of those when we wrap up, but we're all talkers so we'll see how much we have time for there at the end. Well let's talk about some of the things that we do, you mentioned the wiki so let's start there because it's a huge part of our work with the community.
Stéphane: Right, right, the wiki is a special place in our community because we started working with them a very long time ago. The wiki started by itself and we embraced it, Arenanet decided to host and help the wikis. The wiki is, in case you don't know, a website hosted by us whose content is created by players to document the game and help everybody understand the little things and updates and get help basically. And so, I've been helping for six years as the wiki liaison for the studio, which means talking to our players, understanding what their needs are and what we can help them with because they are the ones creating the content for the wikis.
Rubi: So you mentioned working with the players, there have been some initiatives to get players helping in there, do you wanna talk about one of those? More than one if you want.
Stéphane: Yeah absolutely, I've got a couple of them I can mention but one is definitely at the top of the list. It's a project called On Wiki of Gold. So for years the wiki has been based on volunteers helping themselves, and last year somebody, Delsea, started a program called On Wiki of Gold, way was getting donations from players to redistribute that gold to wiki editors themselves for the help, and that project went so well that Arenanet decided to embrace it and sponsor the project. We're giving the money to the wiki players, now in all languages, because we have wikis also in German, French, and Spanish, to participate in that project where you can actually edit the wiki and get rewarded for a little bit of gold. It's a really exciting project that makes the wiki a rewarding activity.
Rubi: It's, it's been a neat project to watch over the past few years and you're not going to brag on yourself so I'm going to shamelessly brag on you, because it is this combination of a player-created, it's a player-created resource, that is also a player maintained, but it's one that we have been able to support in-game. Players, people still don't know, here and there, I found out new people are finding out every day. We support this in game so if you type "/wiki" in game about something that you have a question about, it will call that up. And it's been, it's been a really good project to watch work with the game support and the community support working together.
Stéphane: Absolutely. And to be frank, like, we support it in many many many ways, but the wiki the community of the editors are the ones creating the amazing content. Like /wiki as you said type that in game and add a little word after it, and you will be able to find the information you want about a given topic in the game. And the information is created by the players, And they self organize themselves; they actually administer the wiki. There are people who have higher roles and can move pages, can ban people who've been, like, spamming stuff and whatnot. They completely have control over the content. They have rules and guidelines and this is something I'll be able to say. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what being a wiki editor is, and if you don't mind I'd like to talk about that.
Rubi: I would love you to.
Stéphane: Okay. So there's a list of things. Actually, I talked to them, the editors, and there's a list of things they want, they know from experience that people don't understand. The wiki is not created by ArenaNet. The content is from the players and it's really a big misperception. It's also not updated by magic, I quote. They're actually people doing the edits.
Stéphane: I know, it's surprising.
Rubi: It's so disappointing.
Stéphane: We are working on it though. Non-English wiki's are not a translation of the English wiki at all. They're made by a team of German, French, and Spanish players, and we want to thank, by the way everybody ArenaNet wants to thank, all the wiki editors. They really a very important part of everything that's happening for us. Another one that is really funny is, it is mandatory to be a computer scientist to manage and modify the wiki. No. Not at all. Lots of people come and fix typos and check the grammar. They actually check the accuracy of the information on the wiki by themselves. There's there's a place for everybody on the wiki to do minor correction. So to do very big projects, I was talking to somebody, hi Nefastu, from the wiki yesterday. He coded on the wiki for the skill pages is now on the hundreds of them, a little tag at the top where you can switch between PvE and PvP versions of those skills. There's people documenting the history of skills, specifically, trying to track what's going on with them. There's lots of different projects on the wiki that are amazing. Another one that is, I can't give you the details but I've heard it before, the wiki is read by almost nobody. No. That's not true. We use the wiki all the time!
Rubi: I'm nobody, I have found out. I use it all the time.
Stéphane: Yeah. And on one positive note is, how can players help? First of all, you can become an editor of the wiki, it's very easy. It doesn't take much, 30 seconds you can create an account. Go bold as they say. But you can also talk about the wiki, you can refer people to the wiki. And I'll be frank, our players do a fantastic job of promoting it, pointing new players to the wiki, helping them understand how information can be found. You can also give information to the wiki editors without that being an idiot on yourself. There is on the wiki something called a "Leave Article Feedback" tab. You can click it, leave a piece of information and wiki editors will take care of adding it. That's pretty much what I wanted to cover today.
Rubi: The Leave, the Leave Feedback tab is one of my favorite additions to the wiki lately because I know a lot of players feel like, I don't, I don't have the editing skills to go in there and add something to the wiki, but I have some screenshots or I have some text that I copied down, and being able to do, any player being able to just go in there and dump it in that Leave Feedback box makes it so much more user friendly, and it's a good example of the kind of support that we can give to make it more open to the community.
Stéphane: Yeah, you touched on a really good point, that the wiki's such a large community. You feel like it's on English especially, on French, German, and Spanish it's much smaller because there's less people that know how to use a wiki. On English potentially we've had up to 5,000 editors since we launched them, which is tons. At a given time there's probably hundreds of them and they all do different things, and they get that information from players, not just on the wiki. they get it from in-game, they get it from our forums, all sorts of places, and then they go and update the pages. the wiki is not updated automatically, no, it's the players actually doing these updates and everybody can help.
Rubi: Awesome, thank you. Well, let's bring the conversation out of the monitor a little bit and talk about some other things that we do like community events. We do community parties at conventions like PAX. Regina, do you want to talk a little bit about how we get those planned and what goes into that behind the scenes?
Regina: Yeah, sure. So, it takes probably six to eight months to plan a presence at an event like PAX, and one of the things we do to begin with is think about our goals for the event. Like is there anything happening within the game that is timed like around the same time. So, for example, PAX West last year - Path of Fire was kind of in the same window so we're like okay obviously it makes sense to promote Path of Fire, and then once we have an idea of the goals like, "what can we plan around it for this?" We wanted to do a kind of a celebration of leading up to Path of Fire so we decided to do a party. That was that was kind of it for that, but for other events it might make sense to do something like we did for PAX East this year where we had a Griffon statue and a party. So, we just kind of basically look at our goals and what makes sense to have as part of that event.
Rubi: So it's a good example of some of the boundaries that we have to work within and things that we have to think about behind the scenes. Because it sounds... It would be super fun, if we could go to every single thing and have like, just splash out on every event, because god knows I would have fun doing that. Umm, but like you said, we have to think about what, what makes sense. "Well, why are you guys here? What are you showing off?" "Well really, really nothing. If there was just... there was an event and we wanted to come and hang out." Which sounds great, but it doesn't always make sense. And we have to think about budget constraints. And I'm looking at you for that because you won't give us endless money out of your endless pocket.
Mike: What, what? No, approved. Everything! Yay!
Rubi: It is on video! Yay!
Mike: That was not legally binding. Ahh, hi.
Mike: But yeah, so, you know, when we look at events it's not just the budgets, it's also we have, you know, we have our great staff here in our offices in, in Washington, but also over in Brighton, England where there is a small contingency of marketing folk that help us and shout-out to them "What, what!", um, that's gang signs in, in England. So-
Rubi: England is so surprised right now.
Mike: So, you know, there, there are a lot of considerations and, and there is, there's a truth to getting a bang for our buck. Uh, how we approach different events is different for the audience that attends it. So we are gonna be going to Comic-Con this year for the first time. We won't be on the show floor, we'll be at Petco Park, um, with our own presence. We're, uh, taking the Griffon out again because we spent a lot-
Rubi: Which Comic-Con would that be?
Mike: Oh, my god! Uh, the one in Uzbekistan, which is really exciting, it's their 42nd, very weird, uh, just kidding. San Diego Comic-Con, and we're pretty excited about it. So the Griffon will be there, as well as a Guild Wars 2 themed food truck. And it's, you know, why Comic-Con? Why not on the show floor? Show floor's crowded, doesn't really have the best presence for gaming, but around Comic-Con in San Diego there are a lot of great examples of stuff that happened that people don't have to have passes to Comic-Con to enjoy the Petco Park experience. And other companies like Square Enix and Ubisoft have done really great activations to not just engage with their existing audiences but with new players and new audiences that can really help build a community. And we know of a game called Guild Wars 2 and we want to bring new people into that community, so sometimes targeting these new audiences at these new shows is a great way to do that.
Regina: Can I ask a question, Sibs?
Regina: So you, we, were talking about the Griffon that we had at PAX East and, you know, food truck. Probably some people at home are wondering, "Well, why don't we bring like demo stations?" or "Why does it make sense to do something like this versus other types of presence?"
Mike: Sure. A lot of that has to do with the type of event it is and also the type of game, honestly. Guild Wars 2 would be a really hard demo experience to have for the Comic-Con fan. There are a lot of people there that know Guild Wars 2 and they enjoy it, they play it, they love it and hopefully they spend money in it because we like money. But most importantly they enjoy it, of course. But there are a lot of people that are there that'll never have heard of it and that might not be the most ideal way for them to engage with the product or the game for the first time. So we can do things like give out information and codes to make sure that people jump in and enjoy the experience if they've never done it and that makes more sense for that specific event. But if we were going into something like Gamescom or in E3 and we had a new product to show off or we were showing off something new within Guild Wars 2 we could figure out a way to put that experience together in a way that's meaningful and makes sense.
Rubi: The Griffon mount at PAX East was a really good example of how that worked out because there were questions about, "Why not the show floor? Why aren't you guys on the show floor?" and the experience that we had once we went in there was that the Griffon was out in the main lobby and it was the thing that people could see while they were waiting, while they were queuing up to get in, while they were waiting in line at the merch store. And by the end of day one, I think, we had like this panic text meeting about, "We need to staff this longer" because we're having, like, we had a security guy to keep people off of the thing while we weren't there. And an hour before the show floor opened, people were trying to get in there. And it was I think the best way to make new people aware of Guild Wars 2. Instead of being on the show floor, we were out there, and it was a standout thing because it was...god how tall is the thing? It's like a twelve foot Griffon.
Mike: Yeah, it's monstrous. And it's fantastic to see that sort of engagement. And of course kudos to the entire team for for acting quick and being like oh now we have extra hours that we can show off the Griffon. But you know the imagery in the pictures that are taken from people on the Griffon, those get posted socially, and now an event that took place in one spot in the United States has now reached the globe thanks to social media. And it really helps to spread the awareness and understanding of ArenaNet, Guild Wars as a franchise, Guild Wars 2 as a game, and you know we've been seeing some great results from these things.
Rubi: How many times did you guys hear, I mean you guys, we were all at PAX. How many times did you hear, "Oh my god what game is this?" and "Oh my god I wish I could sit on that." Boy have I got news for you.
Stéphane: Yeah, yeah. Oh also, give us to players being happy that we're here and coming and spending time with us. Like one of the memorable experience of PAX East was Game Director Mike Zadorojny taking pictures of players on the Griffon. Like I don't know that everybody realized that was him. He was here and stuff. That's also the kind of engagement we want because they came after, and and then they come and talk to us. And, and something else I wanted to rebound on, what Sibs told us about social media. It's something we think long in advance. We try to understand, like, what is the scope of the event, what can we do with it. And we try to, like, use social media in a way we're gonna, we're gonna share that with the community at large or find a really cool way to do it, right.
Rubi: Yeah, yeah. How long? Jeez, when did we start planning for PAX East? How long of a lead time did we have for that? Feels like forever ago now.
Mike: It was. It was a minimum of six months and that was actually a rush.
Regina: Yeah, that was fast.
Mike: A lot of the stuff that we've been doing, you know, we as a team, we're trying to get more long lead. We, we listen to the things that the community's asking for and you know there's surprises that are in the works that I will not tell you about, but it does in incorporate the feedback that is provided to us. But usually something like the griffon, that would be a year of planning, but the team really buckled down and, and worked hard and pushed the right vendors to get that thing made and the results are there. And you know same thing when we look at a campaign like Friend/Ships. That sort of campaign takes a year. It's just everything marketing is long-lead. Shocking. You know, like, I'd like to pretend I can make a trailer later, in an hour.
Rubi: And build griffons with your bare hands.
Mike: And build griffons with my bare hands, though I did build this one. I know, it's gorgeous.
Rubi: Good work, good work.
Mike: I know, I did that in two hours.
Rubi: You're a liar. It was 'three' hours.
Mike: (laughing) Yeah, lies, three hours. Yeah, no, no. We had a fantastic vendor who helped us with that and it took quite a bit of time and it also took a lot of time internally here, not just from our marketing team, but also from some of our internal dev and art teams, who helped with the models that we provide to make sure that the griffon looks like the griffon from in-game. It can't just be some random griffon, you know. We named it Bessie and we love Bessie and, and Bessie needs to look like a creature from our game.
Rubi: He's not kidding we actually did name her Bessie and we let people know far and wide, this is Bessie.
Stéphane: Something to remember also is that we usually don't only work on one event at a time. Like, they had to. Because of the planning and the lead time we need on all of them, they require, they require multiple projects to be managed. We work in multiple projects at the same time for different audiences and different goals, and it's one part of the marketing's job, to be able to handle multiplicity of projects.
Rubi: Well, since we're talking about lead times and marketing campaigns, let's talk about planning marketing campaigns and some of the things that go into the backend of that. You mentioned Friend/Ships and I don't remember, again, I don't remember how long ago. It was a year I think.
Mike: To put Friend/Ships together?
Mike: It was, it was truncated. It was, it was shorter than that, but, but yeah, usually it would take a full year and that, that like, there's not one person on the marketing team that did not touch that campaign and bring it to complete fruition. And, and led by our fantastic Global Brand Manager Lis Cardy.
Rubi: Yay Lis!
Mike: She did good. (waving arms around) What what Lis! Hope you're watching. (pointing to camera) Be good.
Rubi: You better be!
Mike: But, you know, it's a fantastic campaign, it takes a lot of work. But there's also something very unique about Guild Wars 2, and this got to show that off. There are so many friendships and relationships and babies that are made because people have met in this game and that's really special. It's, it's a special community. And to be able to highlight that and celebrate our fans, but also leverage that celebration to help bring in new players to the Guild Wars family. It's pretty exciting.
Rubi: Yeah. And that was a that was a campaign with a very specific purpose of highlighting our community because we do, we say this and everybody talks about, that we do have one of the best, friendliest communities out there and that's been a thing in the ten years that I've been playing, because this goes all the way back to Guild Wars 1. So that had a very specific purpose of letting players who didn't already play the game know, "Come on in the water's fine and we will welcome you with open arms." Every marketing campaign has a different purpose.
Mike: Exactly, they're... This one's gonna be hard, I need you all to take a minute and brace yourselves. Can't really give you a minute, that's too much time. Some of our campaigns are not targeted to our community.
Rubi: Our current community.
Mike: Our current community. Some of it is to get more people into the community. I'm trying to think of one that escapes me... AAAAAAAAH!
Rubi: There it is! I was just like, "Say it, say it, say it!"
Mike: Wow, did you guys hate that. And that's okay, you guys aren't gonna like everything that we do. And I'm sure that I'm getting flamed right now by everyone because "Oh no this is unacceptable," but-
Rubi: I, for one, am stunned.
Mike: And, here's the deal. I love you guys, you're my first love, but I want to bring in some new loves to our game, and that takes a lot of different types of campaigns. Stuff that will make you cringe, made me cringe and we did it, but it works or it doesn't work we fail quick, and we move on to the next campaign. But then there are the things that you guys have helped us develop. The episode 2 trailer last week was talked about and great deeds now-
Rubi: Oh gosh, it was such a good episode trailer.
Mike: And you guys helped us craft the proper picture to make it a better asset, a better video, something that works to drive people into our community. You know, we've actually always thought of it as, "Oh, this is really something that is just for our community, they're already in the game," and you guys, rightly so, pointed out the fact that, no, this could be something we can show to our friends and say, "Wow, Guild Wars 2 has been around for almost six years and it continues to update its content" and, and we weren't showing it off the way we should have been. And your feedback helped us craft it in a more unified way, in a better way, in a way that really engages both you and a potential new audience. And there's gonna be a lot more of that sort of stuff. But remember there will be things that, you're gonna go on those reddits, you're gonna say things, you're not gonna like our things (general giggling) and you know I'll say it again- (Wookie/Gungan noises/groaning)
Rubi: Someone clip that right now.
Mike: But even if that is a campaign that you guys didn't like, and that was memed hard by all of you-
Rubi: It worked?
Rubi: Our current community, it wasn't for them and they felt that, but it worked for the people that we were targeting it to.
Mike: It really did. And I know a lot of you guys are gonna go, "That's BS, that didn't work, they're just saying that, we saw it's not working." It worked. There are things that we have done that have not worked, but I've buried those, you'll never see them.
Rubi: Oh boy, I have to tell you something.
Mike: Oh no.
Mike: But in all honesty, there are things that you guys are not gonna like and there are things that are coming for Guild Wars 2 over the next year that you're gonna love. There are gonna be things that also are gonna make you cringe. But it's for the better of the community to bring more people into the mix, and we're seeing it this week! We've had a lot of great players joining us-
Rubi: Welcome, you guys.
Mike: And it's heartwarming to see the community be so open to it and so excited about it. I mean, I was playing this week and I'm watching as you guys are helping people, who have either never played or have been gone for so many years that it's almost a completely new experience for them, and you helped us do our job by doing that, and we appreciate it, because we all have to work together, we have to get that community bigger and grander and keep Guild Wars 2 going for many years to come.
Rubi: I saw something this morning, and I'm really sorry I don't remember your name, but there was a Mentor in Queensdale who was saying, "Hey, I know you guys, I know a lot of you here are new and you really want that mount. We encourage you" - and this was just a player - "We encourage you not to boost to 80. I know you got the free level boost, but you need to experience the game 1 through 80, so what I will do is join up with me. I will run you through the first Path of Fire mission, so you have your Raptor and you can go explore the world". And it was... It was such a fantastic thing to see someone in our community helping players genuinely get the best experience that they could possibly have.
Mike: It's awesome.
Rubi: Yeah. And it was... I've been watching that for days. That's another little marketing campaign we can talk about because this was kind of the opposite of a long lead time. We had all these new players coming in and we wanted to do something to help welcome them beyond and, you know, sharing on social media tips from veteran players and guides and running people through in the game; is great but we wanted to do something else and we were... Okay, we don't really have six months to make this happen, so we made something work.
Mike: We did. We really did and it was phenomenal and it was great and we're seeing the results.
Rubi: Yeah, and you guys have been super helpful about that too.
Rubi: Well, let's talk about live streams, that's because it's the most incredibly meta thing that I can think of.
Mike: We're talking about live streams on.
Rubi: Mark, if you could do like the mirror camera thing, that'd be, don't. But we have, I mean our team has evolved this over the past six years or so, almost six years now from, God where do we, where do we start, like a little conference room.
Regina: We started in actually one of the office pods like it wasn't even an enclosed room, the sound was really poor and then we moved to a conference room, continue to prove out this live streaming thing and then we were able to secure our own space in our own set. But yeah, we, the content marketing team produces all of the live streams that you see. All of us are working behind the scenes. You see Rubi but there's a whole team behind the scenes like running everything, reading the chat, moderating the chat. So yeah.
Rubi: That is a huge team effort. Every time we have a lot of stream and we've evolved to what like six or seven regular programs that we run from that. I mean there's this one and you're clearly already here. But we also have community showcase live is an excellent show to watch that shows off the creativity and the hard work of our players outside of the game.
Regina: We also have the worldview world live streams every week. We've been starting to do more Let's Plays. We work with our creative partners every week there's a creative partner streaming on Wednesdays. We have longer creative partner streams on Sundays, where you know, they do art, they in real time they teach part techniques. So that's all, you know, content marketing.
Stéphane: It's also interesting that when we started live streaming on YouTube and Facebook didn't exist. We streamed on Twitch because Twitch was the only channel really for us. And then at some point we introduced YouTube when it was available. I think we got it fairly soon actually, like maybe a few months after it started being available. And, and last year, last year we starting streaming on Facebook because that became available for us. And so we've been also evolving the operation behind the scene. Like you guys don't see it, and shout-out to Mark-
Rubi: Yes, seriously!
Stéphane:Who is behind the table managing hundreds of pieces of equipment cables and different things, to put all of this together. And support multiple streams of different shapes and forms and with different requirements. And we also record videos here, to make videos we share with you guys.
Rubi: Yeah. We handle those behind the scenes videos too. And it is... You mentioned Mark, but you and Mark put in a ton of work and effort into getting a streaming on three platforms. That was a huge effort on your part.
Stéphane: Yeah, last year there was this global project that the company and everybody helped to announce Path of Fire expansion, last year. And started even before last year, like we said the lead time on this one was, what, eight, nine months involving dozens of teams and fifty or hundred people. And our part... One specific project we launched, our goal was to be on the three big live stream sites at the same time and make it big, go big or go home. And it took us so much work to test, to lead that, to make it in a way that we knew we would be best quality and support the community and we have this now. And we're trying to improve, trying to make more things in the future to use social media new gadgets and toys.
Rubi: That was awesome work, so thank you for that. Because you and Mark have been the driving force behind improving our live stream quality and the work behind the show. So we, we talked about all of the regular weekly events but we have larger event live streams, too, like the Path of Fire live stream. The Path of Fire announcement live stream was a huge effort. That again, we started eight, nine months, it was out...
Regina: Yeah, eight, nine, ten months.
Rubi: We started talking about it in November, December-
Rubi: Started filming and preparing in January and this was for Path of Fire launch. And the day of... How many people were... You mentioned that there are so many people behind the scenes. How many people were manning computers and pushing buttons during the Path of Fire announcement.
Stéphane: So right here, if I remember correctly, you had six people. And we went communication by using walkie-talkies with at least two teams directly to try to coordinate different parts of creation. But behind, before that we had to do dry runs, we had to like make sure if all the pieces were aligned perfectly. And including, and nobody would ever see that, backup plans in case problems happen. And these require a lot more work than you imagine.
Rubi: Yeah, that's right. I had actually forgotten about that. But we had a big "what if" meeting. What if one of our platforms goes down? What if the power fails in the building? We actually had a plan for what if the power fails in the building because we found out that that can happen.
Regina: It hasn't.
Rubi: It has... In fact what if Jormag comes back, lands on the building again. And something I mean, something that we constantly have to think about. That if you're just watching this in English, you're not necessarily thinking of all the time, is that we support four language communities. So yes, we've got this announcement going out. We're, we're clipping bits of the announcement video. So we can tweet them simultaneously as in four languages as soon as that's done. But we're also broadcasting in multiple languages and we're hosting people and all of that. There's no way that can be done on the fly.
Stéphane: And you are live on Twitter. You're alive helping supporting this show.
Rubi: That was terrifying. Like okay, what if I screw this up. What if I, all I could think was, I have what like four or five video clips. Because every time Mo was like "and Path of Fire is going to have this". All right, I have this little six second clip of him doing that. What if I accidentally tweet the wrong clip.
Regina: Yeah. And every-
Rubi: And tweet something that he's gonna say in 20 minutes.
Regina: Everything has to be timed exactly.
Rubi: Yes. There were, when we have four computers set up in this room and four different people manning different channels. It is, and I'm glad that it ended up looking pretty simple and smooth on the outward facing side. But that is the product of dozen or so people and months and months and months of preparation. But it's totally worth it. It's just there's a lot that goes into this.
Regina: A lot that you don't see.
Stéphane: And to even like broaden that perspective even more. Very close like maybe two or three months before we were going to go live with the announcement of Path of Fire, we were walking on the Path of Fire launch live stream ideas.
Stéphane: Right? We, it only starts usually with the brainstorming sessions where we start trying to find the right ideas. Like Regina said being strategic, set ourselves goals we can achieve. And from that we find the best way to achieve these goals and do that. And the launch live streams have been also pretty big operation like the Heart of Thorns one.
Rubi: That was truly exhausting.
Stéphane: Do you want to talk about the Heart of Thorns live stream?
Rubi: Go ahead. It's kind of a blur for me. (laughing)
Stéphane: My memory, and that's personal, of the Heart of Thorns online launch livestream was literally having a very long list, three pages long, down to the minutes of everything we needed to do, with dozens of people outside of the room, with about eight people - was it eight people? - inside the room managing different parts of that. And, at the same time, and this was the scariest bit, people... we were filming outside of this room to try to show that moment.
Rubi: Oh, that's right! That was terrifying.
Stéphane: Fun. Long. Exhausting. But terrifying.
Rubi: It was fun.
Regina: Your run of show of the Heart of Thorns live streams is really impressive because it was literally down to the minute cues of this thing happens, okay at 9:05 this thing happens, 9:06 this thing happens, like it's very precise.
Stéphane: And nobody saw that but... And this is fun. We live right now. Anything can change, and things did change. People were long. People were not available. Things were happening all the time.
Rubi: I actually just remembered you had your run of show and you were working on that very hard and you wouldn't eat your dinner. Like you hadn't eaten in like nine hours and I'm running behind you going, "Your food is here. Eat it!"
Stéphane: I wasn't the only one!
Rubi: Oh my God! If you pass out you're no good to anybody!
Stéphane: I wasn't the only one! I can be frank. Something that is exciting, and I've experienced that and we've all experienced that, is we are genuinely, genuinely passionate about the game.
Rubi: We were so excited!
Stéphane: Like the community, I've... we forgot to do things. It's happened to you when you come after the live stream and you're like, "I forgot to eat today."
Rubi: Yes. I'm trying to remember if I've eaten today. I don't know that I have. I did have a whole lot of coffee though, so that's food, right?
Mike: That counts.
Regina: That's a food group, I heard.
Rubi: I look at the dude for affirmation who brings in iced coffee, okay? I'm like, that's okay, correct?
Mike: My lifeblood. Dunkin Donuts: if you're watching, can you please open in Seattle?
Rubi: Please! Please! We need this to happen. But yeah, it is a really big effort and for something like the Heart of Thorns launch live stream, which was... six hours?
Regina: Six hours? Five and a half?
Stéphane: Five and a half.
Stéphane: Five and a half.
Rubi: Again, like I said, a blur for me. And we had, I remember, we had tech issues in the beginning that we had to deal with but we've been doing this for long that we were able to kind of scramble and get that taken care of. So, well, thank you guys so much for all of your work because nothing would get done without the effort of everybody. Do you guys want to take some questions?
Rubi: I see there's one incredibly important one at the bottom there.
Regina: Do you want to answer that?
Rubi: Talk about your shoes.
Mike: Is that one for me?
Regina: That's for you.
Mike: Ah. Yes. Yes, we can. I have a small addiction to cigarettes- to shoes, not cigarettes. Yeah and these are Adidas. I can send the link but I don't know if they're available anymore. The question was, "Mike, link me to those boots." But I will try to link you to them. But Adidas for the win. I love their sneakers. So look at their site. They always have great stuff and they come out-
Regina: What model is this?
Mike: Oh God. The SK1 knit I think they're called? I forget the name, but yeah, I'll get the link.
Rubi: Don't you have a shoe room in your house?
Mike: I have a shoe closet. I have over a hundred pairs of sneakers. So not shoes. I don't waste my time with that mess. Sneakers are important. If you're looking to work in games, learn how to wear sneakers. That's it! I'm just putting it out there.
Rubi: Uh oh.
Regina: It's all about the sneaker game.
Mike: I look at the sneakers when I hire people. They're wearing shoes? I'm like... (shakes head)
Regina: Did I pass?
Mike: You... Yeah! You're passing.
Regina: Thank you.
Mike: We're gonna do it.
Rubi: I've given up. I could never hope to achieve this, so just whatever.
Mike: You may not be able to achieve, but you can strive.
Rubi: It's true. All right, what else? How does, well- oh gosh that top question is a loaded one.
Regina: How does one get started in content marketing? When looking at the jobs like these? I think-
Stéphane: Tough one.
Regina: All of us started differently.
Rubi: Our paths were weird.
Regina: Like, the three of us were part of the community. We were active parts of the Guild Wars 2 community. We started out as Community Managers and our job evolved into focusing on content. I actually wasn't looking to get into games at all. You applied though, right?
Stéphane: I applied. I applied for the job nine years ago and yeah, I came from a completely different background. I changed. I mean, I had the right skills and I was thinking of what you said and how right now I would answer the question completely differently from five years ago. We've evolved from... our team evolved and we're doing different things and there's many ways, in a way many ways to get in and less ways also because our work, our job, is more specialized these days.
Rubi: Yeah, it's very specialized. I just think about how much our roles have evolved over the past years and it's very true, but I think be an active part of the community in the industry that you want to get into and look for opportunities.
Mike: Also understands social marketing. It's changing. Or social channels: Facebooks, Twitters, Snapchat, whatever is coming down the pipeline that is new and exciting. It's become one of the most important ways to get your message out because of how targeted it can be. If you understand it and you stay on top of it that will help give you a leg up because there are a lot of social savvy people out there but be the most savvy and understand videogames and you'll rise to the top.
Regina: I think curiosity about new technology, new social platforms is what helped this team sort of evolve.
Regina: When I started at ArenaNet like ten years ago, we didn't have a YouTube channel, we didn't have Twitter, we didn't have Facebook and I was like, "We need to change this!" so I worked with the community team at the time and to kind of build the case for this new social media thing that was starting up. And to me it was like a little strange that there wasn't already something in the works because I saw the potential of social media and to reach people, to engage with people and you know we're always on the lookout to try new things, be curious about any new technologies and also be critical like, "Is this going to serve the company's purposes?" or "Does it have potential to, you know, be a place for- where fans gather?"
Stéphane: Right. To try to answer a little bit the question and bouncing on some of the points you brought, Regina, the Content Marketing team has both the content and the marketing side of things and so Sibs said like watch marketing campaigns, like read - even if you don't play these games, like go and watch the videos, read the news and try to figure out how they're appoaching it and from the content side go on social medias like figuring out how is this edge[verification requested] done? How do they get there? For example, one of the reasons why I think I probably got the job, despite not being in the video game industry or being in marketing, is I have communication skills. I was able to have the basic job done: read, write, strategize about it, being smart, curious. Curious, I think, is an important point. We kind of like on the ground team. We read a lot, but we need to think a lot.
Rubi: I think that feeds into one, two, like three or four questions down. How does your team interface with the Product team to respond to player feedback and having that... it's a unique thought process that we've had to develop and a unique perspective that we've had to have and being able to say... because it's very hard not to look and say, "Okay, thirty people are saying this thing. Clearly something needs to be done immediately." When it's very hard to step back out of that and say, "Okay, is this an actual... Is something broken? Is something wrong? Does what's going on in game reflect this or is this, you know, is this actually a thing?" is a weird question to learn to answer.
Mike: Well, one: we have probably one of the best developments news in the business. Not just because of their unbelievable talents, but because of how much they genuinely care about the community. So the feedback that we compile is easily shared with them. There are many facets that go into play on how we move forward or how the product teams, the development teams move forward on implementing that feedback but they're more open than many development teams I've worked with in in my history. Also there's a unique perspective. We as a marketing team we're part of publishing and we are within development. There's one office here and our small office that we have in Brighton - (hand gestures) gang science - it's for Brighton! But we're with them, we're eating lunch with them, we are hanging out with them. They are literally steps away... feet away from us so we can go right up to them and say, "Hey, we're noticing on social that this has come up as a thing let's talk about it." And then there'll be meeting after meeting and we figure it out.
Stéphane: Sometimes they actually ask us. Sometimes they have specific questions that they want answers for and they come and send it to us or they come and ask us, "What do you feel about X, Y and Z?" and we try our best to gather that feedback. Oh, another part I wanted to mention is that there is a long history of communication with the community, right? And being in the community, not just because we were in the community but we've had a long-standing community. The wikis. Long before Guild Wars 2 was launched, Guild Wars 1 was here. We had a relationship to them and we've built that. The studio has built an understanding of that community. It evolves, it changes, we have new players.
Rubi: Yay. Regina, do you want to touch on that top one?
Regina: How does the Content Marketing team plan to utilize ties with streamers and collaborators to promote the game to new players and educate new players in the future? Well, right now we have been noticing an increase in new players and we've been working with our partners in the ArenaNet Partner Program to help them get their content out there, so we're promoting their content. They're in-game hanging out with new players, helping them out. So the primary vehicle, in terms of working with streamers, is through the ArenaNet Partner Program. Our creative partners... our partners are really awesome and we work with them weekly. We have a streaming calendar so that we're providing their content. We have the creative art show streams. Wwe also work with our partners on one offs with events like, for example, the Heart of Thorns announcement.
Regina: So there's a bunch of ways. Often this is project based.
'''Rubi:''' And huge huge thanks to our team members who work on the Partner Program because Ramona networking is so incredibly hard on that and I wanted to mention we actually host our partners on the official give us two accounts on a regular basis and that requires a pretty strong pipeline behind the scene that involves different people first and foremost Raman and Stephanie in Brighton they really are leading that project and that takes a lot of work and then they start coordinating with some of the partners getting interest from them they qualify that there's a document and and the system for it and it's get sent for a blog post on a weekly basis and then things get hosted and and that's that's the way we try to increase the visibility of our partners yeah another thing you know a low-hanging fruit opportunity to expand our audience is to start talking with streamers that we haven't had a relationship with previously and that's something that we're really going to be focusing on it's figuring out how to make those engagements meaningful in a way that's organic for both the streamer and beneficial or mutually beneficial of the streamer and the Guild Wars community I like this one what do you guys consider the five biggest tools for promoting your products and getting the news out there go ahead well money marketing costs money that's not that's not even the top five you guys this is like every day with joy truth I'm pretty fantastic the one of the biggest tools and it's gonna sound like lip service but I'll explain one of the biggest assets we have to promote our products is you guys it sounds like oh of course it is but no our audience is our number one way of promoting product not just for us that's for every video game that's ever existed every movie franchise that has ever happened but the toilet paper you use at home if someone's not spreading the word of mouth it doesn't really matter why are there commercials for toilet paper who is not using this I see sorry that's completely I think in those instances that there are just unique features to point out with each different toilet paper that you know q ply three ply don't ever use single ply that one's free but seriously the number you are our number one asset and it's why you know way before I was here or any of us mo made it very clear you have to help us promote the game and and really that is spread the word amount tell people what you love about Guild Wars to what you love about any of our games Guild Wars 1 whatever may come we need you guys to be at the forefront with us and it's why products become successful the other asset of course I will throw out is right here it's my team they do the marketing and that's pretty important that they are not just people that work hard they're passionate about Guild Wars and they're passionate about ArenaNet and if they weren't the marketing would suffer from that and this team has been here for many years many many years that's the only one who's knew and that's now ten months past so not so fresh anymore Wow we lost the new car smell but no oh you guys just got to see a real heart-to-heart moment smell like a new car to us Oh guys I'm glad I showered we're all glad now I forgot what the question even wasn't it's your move but it was the five things we need and then obviously the we mentioned one social media you guys will ask us Oh where are the TV spots where is the in theatres why aren't you doing massive out-of-home it's one a part of where we are in the lifecycle of Guild Wars 2 that doesn't mean it's coming to an end it is not it's that there are unique ways to promote it that make more sense at this point in its lifecycle and social media is not just for a title that's going to be six years old but four new titles is the best vehicle you can utilize and then even when we look at what we talked about earlier about events we do things to be cool at the event and to drive awareness for us at the event but why spend hundreds of thousands to a million dollars just to hit people in San Diego we need to hit people globally you know you can hit people globally with spending fifty thousand dollars on a social Channel and that's the truth so if you're gonna spend a million dollars at an event make sure there's a social tie-in like a griffon that people will sit on and take photos maybe we could give them prizes for sharing their photos I like that we should do I'm gonna go back in time and make that happen yeah and I said the money thing in jest but yet money marketing success it's true and I'm way overpaid can add one sure that's something we excited to do more and more and answers one of the question here how do you guys plan to use social media and streaming platforms moving forward and I want to continue example you gave of the Griffin in PAX East we try to share that content I was over there live-streaming some of that content on Twitter on an Instagram right and we're hoping we're gonna continue doing some of that Twitter Instagram definitely once we like I don't know how much we can do because it requires significantly different pipeline and equipment for all the main livestream sites we're considering mixer we don't know if you ever get there this we will be reacting to every single new toy that these dis companies sent us because we believe that social media is kind of reaching communities not just one community people are why they like they want to be on Facebook they want to be on Twitter the people on Twitch there's a community on Twitch on everywhere and we want to make it easy for them to see our content share their content and we try our best with the means we have which means more money your paycheck [Laughter] but that is I mean it's a good point we have it does cost money and we need to be responsible and mindful of where we spend that because like you said yeah we could we hit blow a million bucks at Comic Con and again god knows it would be so much fun but what about those of you who can't come to comic-con that would be that you wouldn't see it be saddle money that Griffin doesn't actually fly we have to get that thing places first-class it's the whole thing Bessy has a rider so he know all right what else there's there's the same question at the top and bottom of the screen and I can't tell if that's a mistake or if they're just really enthusiastic about it I love that question I do you want to talk about the no put it back that second one inviting bigger content creators to cover Guild Wars 2 I think we touched on that a little bit but absolutely we we mean to a game that is gonna be six years strong and I'll stress that strong we have to continue and we can't rest on our laurels so to speak and just work with the same amazing partners we already have we need to broaden our approach in order to get more players into the game we want that community to continue to stay thriving I look at Guild Wars 1 still people playing still going strong and it's Guild Wars 2 should have that same longevity and as long as the community stays strong and keeps growing there'll be content within the game and there'll be strong marketing to help push people into that ecosystem all right oh I like that one I want you all to answer that second one what are some of your favorite things the community has done to promote itself I have one yay the festival first of all yes I want to give a shout out to first of all this is a play organized event in Europe now it's pan-european it started I think I believe in France it may have been organized initially by somebody called Stephanie Berger who is now community manager with us in Brighton and the festival has grown over the years has this really huge event where the players meet together have a lot of fun activities I actually don't know all the details but I've seen some pretty disturbing pictures from the German festival it's disturbing like favorite things the community has done to promote itself I actually really so it's it's June I actually really liked the in-game pride marches that have happened every year for some so many years and I was in one of them a couple years ago and just the enthusiasm and everyone coming together it's just a really fun time so that's one of my favorite things hey for me it actually goes back to where friendships came from one of the first things I noticed about the Guild Wars 2 community even before working here was the different relationships that are fostered in it and that was just the community posting on reddit on Facebook on Twitter way before we ever even thought to do friendships about the different relationships that they fostered in-game and it became so apparent and it was like wow this has to be celebrated it's the continuation of that sharing and sharing that with friends who haven't played Guild Wars 2 because you know we live in the new it's it's not it's not something to not be proud of that you met someone with in a videogame everyone does it now I ruin dates from apps it's it's the world we live in and that there are so many friendships that have been fostered inside Guild Wars 2 is amazing to me I want to mention it's a little offshoot of something that I talked about earlier where we have all of these players waiting to greet new players coming in and I remember when we went play for free on the core game I saw that - I hopped in a game and I was like bouncing from starter map to starter map in each racial area and everywhere I went there were crowds of veteran players dropping every kind of buff you could imagine and like dropping dropping water balloon fight toys and dropping bobblehead tonics and making sure that when a player went through the that starting mission and they came out into the open world there was a crowd of people waiting with open arms to make it fun for them and that was that was one of the coolest things that I have seen you guys do I loved it so much good I'm gonna add another one and I'll sound like a broken record at that point but the wiki the week is the best way that all of that genuine passion for the game genuine friendship and I'm not joking there's one week editor I won't say his name I'm a great friend with and they've all friends of each other and they've created friendship I mean the wiki guild you have no idea how much fun it is to be with them it's ridiculous and when you go back in game do give a shout-out to wiki editors but also to yourself because the wiki is the that motor that proposes itself to being so good and so awesome please tell involved with them thanks for all these great streams over the years we will bring you more why is that do you have any advice for a new content creator who may be watching I do I thought you might don't build stuff for the sake of becoming famous yeah build what you love do what you enjoy that will shine through and hopefully lead to success that's really all yourself be be real don't don't try to fake a personality also I'll add that there's lots of streamers obviously they all have similar goals to be successful but that's not driving that's not that prime driver and they are the communities of streamers they help each other I we know it from the partner program we know it from watching streamers on on twitch and YouTube and all these places that they help each other there's a lot of support from builder community also build the community by yourself and learn from them and try to to be the best you can be but don't be anybody else than yourself yeah be yourself do it because you love it there's um I have this huge like 11 by 17 sign stuck in the mirror on my dresser at home that says this is supposed to be fun and because it is this this game and every other game exists because it's fun do it because you're having a good time and it brings you joy that might be a good last question if you have if you have anything else you have like 10 seconds speak now forever hold your peace otherwise I will thank you guys very very much this was this was incredibly weird and meta but it was really fun we've shined the spotlight on other teams for years and years we're gonna keep doing that but it was kind of cool to bring it home for one show so thank you guys very much for watching thank you to our live studio audience and thank you all three for your time thank you for you alright we will see you on the next skill chat bye guys
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