It’s not been long since Gears of War 2‘s sixth title update was announced, and Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski (affectionately known as Cliffy B) admits that the fans are mainly to thank for the update.
It’s been a long road of evolution for Gears 2 multiplayer (and Bleszinski admitted that it was a little bumpy at first) but thanks to the input from fans, the team at Epic was able to work on the multiplayer – providing a smoother experience.
According to Bleszinski:
“We’ve always had a tradition of supporting our products as well as a continued culture of ongoing learning. The launch of Gears 2’s online was bumpy – Over the last while we’ve continued to tweak and refine that experience through regular title updates that not only improve the online performance and matchmaking times but also tune the game and weapon balance. Many of those game tweaks have come from our design team interacting with our fans on the official Epic forums.”
Considering Epic is hard at work on Gears of War 3, it’s refreshing to see the company truly interacts first-hand with feedback from players – and is willing to make revisions to a previous title.
News of the sixth title update was posted on the Epic Forums before it was posted anywhere else, and I think it emphasizes the relationship Epic has developed with its core fanbase.
“The gaming world right now is filled with so many stellar games vying for players attention and the best way to remain successful and relevant is by keeping your fans happy. Listening to them, interacting with them, and quite often simply giving them what they want when possible keeps them engaged as long term fans of your studio. Bungie and Blizzard have done a stellar job at this and we’re evolving into a studio that embraces our fan base more than ever. Besides, today’s Epic fan and promising UDK modder could be tomorrow’s star Epic programmer/designer.”
Truer words have never been said. An early rapport with gamers could make the difference when a successful programmer graduates and looking at job offers.
In either case, it’s good to see a game company interacting with fans – and most importantly, taking the feedback to heart.