Thursday, 24 March 2011

Researching a Game Company

Previously I talked about getting a job in the games industry and the suggestions for what to do when applying for jobs, these suggestions were also backed up by an article by Michael Stibbes whom worked in a professional games company for sometime.

Using Rockstar Game's website as an example I'm going to give an analysis of what the website tells me about the company.

The front page features a whole host of different information including manyfeatures such as videos and downloads that serves as promotions for already released and up-coming games. This first of all informes the veiwers of what games the company is currently making, in rockstars case they're heavily promoting their upcoming game "L.A. Noire", but are also promoting new previous releases such as "Red Dead Redemption", the games section also tells me the type of games Rockstar release, generally aimed at older audiences their games often feature a third person perspective and expolartion. Already I've learned alot about the games the company makes.

The next section to look at is their news section, titled "News Wire". Here the company posts news relating to itself or any recommendations that is has. This again is used as a promtional tool but theres still much to learn from it. Firstly they've posted various Previews and opinions from various press magazines and websites, they also use the "News Wire" to announce competitions such as a competition titled "The Los Angeles Noire Weekend Sweepstakes", in which fans can enter to win various prizes such as a trip to Los Angeles and a unique hands on experience with the game before anyone else. They also release updates on the games such as screen shots and news of extra features coming via download and even organised online events held by the company, the "News Wire" also features a twitter feed. This informs me that Rockstar Games are keen to keep people updated in their work and are professionals at promotion, they're also take a hands-on approache to consumers by offering these organised online events.

The next point of interest of the website is titled "Social Club". This serves as a community site for fans and players of rockstar games to connect with eachother, the site also features additional features for games such as online leaderboards and mini-games, along with this theres also a message board and a page listing all the Multiplayer Events that Rockstar will be hosting for members. It also holds a news section that realtes specifically to the the rockstar community such as "Social Club" exculsive competitions.
This tells me that the company care about their audience and fans and what to keep them engaged in their products, the inclusion of a community site complete with message board also means that they can get feedback from the fans and not just reviews from websites/magazines.

Finally their Merchandise section takes me to the shop where in the company sells products ranging from games to t-shirts but also limited edition products such as "Red Dead Redemption" soap, playing cards etc.

This shows me that they don't just focus on advertising for promotion but also specially made products too, it also shows that that if their fans wish they can easily find a t-shirt or similar product to celebrate one of Rockstar Game's Products. The inclusion of a shop site informs me that the company is large enough to sustain something as time consuming as retail, this leads to the conclusion that if I were to apply for a job I would be joining a successful team.

Just by spending 30 minutes researching Rockstar's website I've learned about their upcoming releases and the types of games they make, their promotional methods, new products being released in the form of Downloadable content, their involvement with the consumers and the extend at which they get involved and their store. All of this information would prove to be extremely handy when it comes to an interview and any questions they would ask me about themselves. This also informs me of the type of company I'll be applying for. From this mere 30 mins of research I'm already more prepared for an interview should I have one.

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