Interview With a MoGi Player Support Team Member
As the gaming industry continues to grow in new and exciting ways, making a shift more and more towards online and mobile gaming every year, its never been more important to explore and understand all of the services that today’s modern gamer has come to expect as part of their gaming experience.
In our experience, one of the most in-demand services players call for is good quality player support. Player support is a vital tool in forming and maintaining a healthy relationship between the developer and the player: it provides a developer with the stream of knowledgeable and timely feedback they need in order to keep their game healthy and feeling fresh, but it also creates an avenue for players to feel valued, leading in many cases so extended game lifespan and player loyalty.
In order to get the inside scoop on player support, its growing importance in the gaming world and what a comprehensive support package can do for a game, we caught up with one of our top player support team members, Conor McGinley, to see what he had to say on the subject. Here’s what he said…
How would you describe an average day in player support?
Constantly changing. And I mean that in a good way – at least most of the time. Since we work with massive companies comprised of hundreds of people across many different departments, information is constantly racing up and down the chain. That means our work and processes are constantly developing too.
Have you always wanted to work in the games industry?
Who didn’t daydream about working with games as a kid? Sure, I always would’ve liked to work in the industry, but I didn’t expect it to actually happen. This is still rather a surprise.
Why is quality support so important for video games in particular?
Video games rely heavily on community, this isn’t the case for any other medium. You buy a book, or a DVD, or download music, your engagement with the artist ends at the point of sale. Video games, especially multiplayer titles, rely on a consistent audience who log on and play for months or even years after release. If you offer quality support, you keep players coming back for more as the world they’ve fallen in love with shows them that they are valued as inhabitants. It also gives them a stake in helping a game to succeed.
What qualities or skills does a person need to provide good player support?
Most importantly: Empathy. More often than not, the line between repeat complaints and a one-touch resolution is in the delivery. To be effective, you need to be able to see the situation from the player’s point of view, and you need to be able to use this perspective to focus your response. A young player who finds something wrong in their game should never feel rebuked for contacting support – even if their issue is resolved – and the correct wording and tone can often also help a player accept when they’re not going to receive the solution they’ve asked for.
What challenges do you face most on a daily basis?
Updated practices, new tools. Projects sometimes develop so rapidly that we’re in a constant state of adapting and implementing new processes as players report new issues and clients release new games and updates. The more you learn to predict by learning from experience, the better service you can provide. You cannot go into a day with any expectation of what you’re going to be dealing with, and that’s exciting, but you can learn from experience and let that lead the way.
Has the shift to online and mobile gaming affected the call for player support?
I mentioned before about video games and community – well, the rise of free to play, multiplayer-focused gaming has taken the idea of a gaming community from a benefit to a necessity. It’s no longer about launch day sales, it’s all about getting players engaged and keeping them playing.
How important is it that your team get to know the games they’re working on?
For all kinds of reasons, everyone involved in supporting a title needs to know that title inside and out. You need to be able to understand proportions, game mechanics, and how in-game economies interact. This is vital to empathising with players and ensuring that any action you take does not unbalance a game or give anybody an unfair advantage.
How has working in player support changed your view of gaming?
While I was never a particularly toxic player, I wasn’t afraid to bite back if I felt like I was being attacked. Now that I’ve been the guy looking over those logs and trying to solve these issues, I can see the problems with objectivity and understanding that can be so easy to not have and the habits that can lead to toxicity. Don’t be toxic, folks, it’s really not worth the effort.
What’s your favouite thing about your job?
My team (don’t tell them I said that!). Whatever happens, whatever fire bursts out on our project, or whatever issue crops up, they take everything in their stride and I can trust them with anything.
What developments do you predict for (or would hope to bring to) player support in the future?
A lot of companies seem to be moving further and further towards games-as-a-service models, utilising subscriptions and microtransactions and all manner of post-sale engagement strategies. If anything, I would say the lines between player and community support will become more blurred as the importance of strengthening the developer-player bond increases on a number of levels.