In my spare time, I am an avid gamer, my current video game of choice being Destiny, on the Xbox One console. If you have ever heard of the games Call of Duty and Halo, then you might understand when I say that Destiny is sort of a combination of both games, having been made by the two studios that usually make Call of Duty and Halo. The primary studio in Destiny's case is called Bungie, they're the ones who make all the Halo games, in conjunction with Microsoft Studios. However, with Destiny, Bungie has created a whole new type of game; Destiny is a completely online, open-world first person shooter game, set on the moons and planets of our solar system. Most games out there let you play at least some aspect offline, but for Destiny you must be online the entire time to do anything. Because the game is set in such huge and detailed landscapes while supporting thousands of players doing different activities, the bandwidth required can be quite enormous. This leads to a myriad of different problems and bugs that can affect players. But it is the way that Bungie has responded that makes this story noteworthy for us in the study and business of public relations.
When Destiny was first released back in September of 2014, Bungie launched a companion website and app to go with it. Both were beautifully designed, and provided a compelling counterpart to the game; on the site you could track your stats and connect with other players, and the app allowed you to control aspects of your character's appearance and equipment. Bungie also launched a running blog on the new site, with frequent posts from the game's designers, engineers, producers, and many more. These men and women would post about upcoming changes to Destiny, or about things that happened in the game that might interest other players. At the end of 2014, Bungie posted a longer story, detailing all the accomplishments of Destiny players in 2014, including all sorts of interesting statistics and facts. And, Bungie launched an extensive forum for players to post about problems and bugs they encountered within the game, as well as multiple Twitter accounts for tech support. With the forums and Twitter accounts, Bungie maintained a large 24-hour team that constantly interacts with and responds to people posting about problems they have with the game. More so than any other game I have ever played, Bungie has done everything possible to foster an interactive and engaged community, which has frequently come together to solve major and minor problems. When Destiny first came out, a lot of people didn't think it work, but Bungie has gone above and beyond the necessary PR footwork to make it happen, and to create a base of people that will be playing this game for a long time to come.
Have any questions or comments about Destiny or Bungie? Post them below in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!
This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a senior at Temple University and an Assistant Firm Director of PRowl Public Relations. You can connect with Faiz here on Twitter and LinkedIn.