The Daily Grind: Which MMO studio had the best communication in 2020?

    
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As I’m sitting down to write this annual Daily Grind, I find myself wishing I could flip it around and talk about the MMO studios with the worst communication instead. Those companies present themselves much more easily, don’t they? The ones still pretending they didn’t lose their game director a year ago and refusing to tell anyone who’s in charge now? The ones that tried to sell their skimpy paid patch as an expansion after a summer of miserable rapport with players? It wasn’t a great year for MMO studios, that’s what I’m trying to say.

But let’s try to keep it positive. The studios with good communication are out there, just not grabbing the same kinds of attention, so let’s focus on them today. Which MMO studio would you say had the best communication in 2020? What are they doing right that other studios ought to copy?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Big_Red

No contest: SSG.

Celestia
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Celestia

I’m biased, but the Homecoming Team have been doing an excellent job.

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NeoWolf

My first though was lets ask the studios directly and see which one bothers to reply lol

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Oleg Chebeneev

Cloud Imperium Games was the best at it for many years. With regular dev updates, video blogs, activity on discord and forums, monthly reports, etc
I dont know another MMO studio that does as much communication with its community

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Ken from Chicago

Yes, for sheer quantity of data, CIG gives players a veritible flood of data.

As for the quality of the data, relevance to most of the players’ interests, timeliness of said communication to when an announcement was promised? Yeah, CIG could use a … wee … bit of improvement.

Also, there are ways to talk about SQUADRON 42 without spoiling the precious story line. Eg:
— showing photos and videos of characters idle in settings
— making teasers of characters doing scenes not in the game ala Pixar doing THE INCREDIBLES teasers of scenes not in the film
— do what they recently did show NPCs demonstrating animation and game mechanics not in SQ42 ala Pixar having animated shorts that show hair animation or water animation or fire animation, etc, that’s not in the movie.

The communication I would want from any company with a long time between announcement and release is communication on Progress, namely:

1) What are you working on?
2) What are the major obstacles slowing you down?
3) What are you doing to deal with those obstacles?

CIG is awesome with #1 when it comes to STAR CITIZEN–but SQUADRON 42 they’ve played closer to the vest.

it’s the 2nd aspect it, like most studios, stumbles on when not remaining radio silent. That allows folk to imagine the worst, often far worse than the reality.

And when studios are silent on the 2nd they then are silent on the third–which means players don’t get to hear how the studios are working to overcome major obstacles. Instead, fear and worry and anger, are allowed to fester until it explodes (eg, the SQ42 update last year, which could have been neatly avoided by announcing in April or May that it would be discuss in the Fall).

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MasterOfPuppets

I don’t have much faith for the coming Odyssey expansion, but I have to give full credit to the Frontier devs for their communication; even when they’ve got nothing specific to say (such as the last 2 years of contentlessness) they always try to at least touch base with the community, and they constantly show themselves as active on the forums and run livestreams et all… and their customer support tends to be exceptionally friendly; recently they’ve been discussing with me a complex matter of an exceptionally disturbed individual who follows people from game to game, and I have to say they’re the most sympathetic and patient I’ve seen in the business as you explain exactly what the issues were.

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Rob Hagaman

CCP. They have the CSM, a body of players, elected by the players, that represents them and gives CCP a feel of their wants and needs. It was the CSM that supported the faucet on resources being tightened. They are also great at giving their timelines and vision of where they want the game to be.

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Ironwu

I think Zenimax / ESO.

Not just because of the quantity of information, but also the quality and meaningfulness to game play.

Their info is not just a bucket load of self promotion, lies, fluff, misinformation, and advertisements.

Well done, Zenimax. :)

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TheDonDude

CIG.

Every $600 ship was really, really well communicated.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

CCP, for the size of the studio, puts out a lot of information in patch notes, dev blogs, and forum posts. We don’t always like what they say, such as their current economic austerity plan in game, but then we get the monthly economic report to wave in their face to show them why we don’t like it.

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SmiteDoctor

Zenimax, they are very clear on their plans, you know they will have regular information dumps through out the year.