After the open beta of Forge of Empires was launched a few weeks ago, the game has picked up its pace. In less than a month, more than 250,000 players have registered to become mighty rulers! With further language versions starting in the upcoming days, even more players will get the chance to experience the game firsthand; And with a growing number of players also comes an increase in player feedback. Because our players’ problems, opinions and their feedback are very important to us, we employ a large number of dedicated people – called community managers – which you guys can talk to. You probably already even know some of them from our forums. So today we sat down with Gordon, the lead community manager of Forge of Empires and talked with him about his daily work, his responsibilities as well as his impressions of the Forge of Empires community.
Of course. Hi, my name is Gordon and I am the Lead Community Manager of Forge of Empires. My main responsibility is to keep in touch with our players. That means not only providing you guys with the latest information, but also listen to your feedback and forwarding it to the right people here at InnoGames.
How did you become the Lead Community Manager for Forge of Empires here at InnoGames?
I started working at InnoGames in October 2010 as a Community Manager for grepolis.net and tribalwars.us. Later on, during the development of Forge of Empires, I was offered the lead community manager position. But before working here, I did a lot of other things. As there is no specific community manager apprenticeship so far, you could call me a lateral recruit. Originally I did an apprenticeship as an audio engineer. But after an internship in this field, I decided to go for something different. This is why I migrated to Canada and did my bachelors there, studying International Business at the Mount Royal University in Calgary. And finally, after successfully finishing my studies, I moved back to Germany. Because video games are a true passion of mine – I’ve been playing games since my early childhood – I was looking for a job in the games industry. So I applied at InnoGames and because of my language skills, got the job as a community manager.
So what are your tasks and duties as the lead community manager of Forge of Empires?
My most important task is to be a link between different departments. First of all, I am the link between our players and the company. This includes not only informing them about new updates or features via our forum, but also listening to their feedback, discussing with them in the forum and forwarding interesting ideas and suggestions to our developers. But besides that, I am also a link for other departments here at InnoGames. I am linking the developers of the game with our QA and PR guys, as well as with our other community managers. In addition to that I am also responsible for the international support for Forge of Empires, taking care of all the different language versions. As a lead, I am also handling some organizational things as well as leading all of our community managers for the game. And besides all of that, I sometimes even have some time to do a little bit of game design too. So you see, my schedule is packed with a lot of different tasks.
Regarding the Forge of Empires community, what are you especially proud of?
For every gaming community, activity is very important. And to be honest, the activity of our players is simply astonishing. It is really awesome how early and how quickly they were involved. During the development of the game and even now, we have the feeling that a large amount of our players want to take part in the journey that Forge of Empires is to us. Of course we try to return the favor, putting a lot of effort into the game and into the support for the game. What I also really like is the atmosphere in the forums. From the beginning on, we always had a great atmosphere there: it was very creative, we had a lot of constructive criticism and there is always a lot of brainstorming going on. All of that benefits not only us, but also the players themselves. Because of their feedback, we are able to fix bugs, improve the game and also implement new features that they are asking for. So keep on doing such a good job in the forum – we really appreciate that!
What advice would you give someone in high school who’s interested in becoming a community manager?
What I noticed over the last couple of months is that there are a lot of companies now looking for community managers. If you are interested in this field, there are a lot of opportunities for you right now. So what skills do you need as a community manager? I would say, first of all, language skills and linguistic diversity are very important. The more languages you speak on a good level, the better it is. In addition to that, technical skills like programming or graphical design are advantages too, but surely no requirement. And most importantly, you need an excellent knowledge of the specific game, therefore being able to speak with players on an equal footing. If you want to be a community manager for a certain game and if you are already an active part of the community, than all you need to do is to stand out in the forum. One way of doing this is for example by helping others or writing guides. So basically you need to be active in the respective community. And of course you could also think about volunteering, for example as a moderator.
Thanks for taking some time Gordon! We appreciate it.
Is there a specific question you would like to be answered by the developers of Forge of Empires? Is there a specific job you would like to know more about? Let us know in the comments!