Head of Interaction and Service Design at @DigitalDWP
Advice on running your own gaming website
WHERE TO START WITH A GAMING WEBSITE
I received an email earlier this week asking for some advice on how to go about being “different from the rest” of all the other gaming website that are now on the web. A lot of time has passed since nVmax was up, running and very very lively. Most of all the market has changed. When I was reviewing games, we were over the moon to receive an XBOX game, and I’m talking about the first XBOX.
We saw a niche in the market where we could expand from talking about hardware into gaming. We restricted ourselves when starting off with PC Games, nVmax afterall was a PC orientated website.
After quickly emerging as a force to be reckoned with because of our readership nVmax was able to build strong relationship with some of europe’s biggest gaming names.
However, when starting off with a gaming website there are various things that you should be looking at;
Don’t get random, get consistent. Readers come back looking for new things to read. This doesn’t have to be a full review, it could be purely news.
Add gaming news, daily. I used to write up 10 pieces of news (approximately) everyday.
Use web 2.0 technology to the max. (RSS Feeds, Twitter, Social Networking, digg, stumblupon, del.ici.ous)
Think hard about your design, gaming website can quickly expand in to something you cannot control.
Being biased will win a lot of readers and turn others away.
Get connected, I ended up talking daily with international PR teams from the worlds largest companies i.e. EA, THQ, Ubisoft, Blizzard etc
LOOK WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING
I talk endlessly to my clients about what their competitors are doing. You usually end up in a particular market because you know it well. Your competitors are usually where you want to be because they’ve got their ideas down to a T. If there is something that they are missing, take advantage.
Look at a full range of competitors and take their best bits, analyse where their traffic is coming from and why and use this info on your own website.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
PR Teams in big companies are there for a reason. Do you research and find out who is there to help you and don’t be afraid to ask for some press kits or review material. Usually “back in the day” the teams asked for readership numbers before handing over any review or preview material but don’t be scared of a no. Shy people get nothing and the worst anyone can give you is a negative answer.
Another thing to think of is “think global”, if you target a specific country you are restricting your readership. Think further afield and let your users interact.
If you have plenty of readers visitng the site, let them do a review for you. They’ll more than likely jump at the chance.