Virtual gaming is nothing I’m familiar about, but how executives of CCP Games tell their story, share messages and a mission statement are. On the eve of Eve Online’s debut of DUST 514, the CCP Games media relations team scored a huge win.
This article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek showcases why and how the company is a phenom in the gaming community. Instead of getting excited about Eve Online, something that’s alien to me, I instead took a look at its similarities with social media. Virtual gamers addicted to Eve, an Icelandic space game, formation of funky friendships online…still in the dark?
This article from BusinessWeek will shed some light on the subject, and it’s a must read.
Galactic Crack, Why Eve Online, a Computer Game From Iceland Has the Most Fanatical Bunch of Fee-Paying Players In The Universe.
You might read it for any of the following factors:
- Gamers who live life to play games in a virtual world without governments or rules adopt online personalities often stronger than in real life.
- Spaceships are built and asteroids are mined for minerals to build the ships. In Russia, tycoons hire kids in real life to virtually mine the asteroids for arbitrage and ship building.
- A counsel of gamers is selected to meet in person every six months in Iceland with CCP Games, the founders of Eve, to discuss how the game should evolve.
- Serious relationships are formed in the game. When one of the gamers died in the Benghazi attack on the U.S Embassy and shared his last message with the world whilst playing Eve, thousands of people in the Eve community united and flew their ships to the same quadrant and spelled RIP VILE RAT like space candles.
- The community raised $127,000 for Sean Smith’s family.
Inside Media Relations
In the midst of this 5-page, single-spaced story in BusinessWeek, the public relations factors are also impressive:
- The co-founders shared the company mission statement, “To make virtual worlds more meaningful than real life,” and proceeded to give the reporter full opportunity to showcase the culture of CCP that knows its success is due to the 500,000 gamers (more than the population of Iceland) who subscribe.
- The company has hired a real economist to monitor economic activity of Eve, and numerous economic studies by academics have been undertaken about the world of Eve online.
- The company feeds its employees (because food is expensive in Iceland) and families of employees come to eat at the company, too.
- The interactivity by the company with the elite Eve counsel occurs over three intense days. The gamers have a voice, and they influence how Eve evolves.
- Providing access to customers/game players to media for such an in-depth story is highly unusual for most companies; yet, the story is told primarily from the customer/player perspective.
Thoughts About Media Relations
Earning a story the likes of this one is practically a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All the factors for national media relations and the stories media love have to be in place.
Factors for National Publicity
1. A large corporation with global reach
2. Oodles of fanatical customers (yes, half-million would be good)
3. A product like an online game that makes grown men stay up all night and vacation in Iceland in the dead of winter in the dark.
4. A youthful executive team interested in giving back and opening the doors wide to showcase company secrets.
5. Customers who do nothing but laud the product
To even begin to get to that point once factors are all secure, you need a Message Map. (I haven’t done a plug in awhile, get ready.)
Message Mapping by Jayme Soulati is a service many types of companies need to launch, re-launch, and re-energize.
I applaud the PR team that earned the story in BusinessWeek for CCP Games. I was so inspired when I read it that I had to write about it when I’m not even a gamer and probably never will be.
Social media is enough of a game for me; yet, I see the similarities between virtual gaming and social media engagement. It’s like playing roulette; the wheel never lands on the same place twice.