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Creating a game with world-wide appeal is now more important than ever. The internet has made the world smaller and players are used to interacting with others from all over the world. This can make building a cohesive community for any game incredibly challenging. At Hoplon, we knew a game like Heavy Metal Machines would have global appeal, so everything we have created and built upon is with the entire community in mind, not just those with the largest markets.
Hoplon started here in Florianopolis, Brazil, however, right from the start we knew were going to attract a global audience with Heavy Metal Machines and therefore we had to create the game, and the support for it with that in mind. We believe in the potential of our games. We knew that fans of the MOBA genre were looking for something innovative and still fun to play. Since the game launched last year, we have seen the game grow from strength to strength – with passionate, dedicated players across the world.
The biggest challenge of this global attitude is trying to cater for each individual territory. Not only does the language and the culture differ wildly from territory to territory, the way the players engage with game also varies a lot.
We have collected our community into a single Discord server. So, no matter where you are in the world, you go to the same place to interact with the rest of the community. However, within the server, we also offer a customised experience for each territory, allowing players from around the world to find the support they need in their native language as well as a thriving player base to interact with.
We count on a team of community managers from around the world, including: Brazil, North America, France, Turkey, Poland and Russia who all work closely with their communities to get feedback for our developers and to help resolve any issues they may be having. Additionally, our Discord Server has an English-speaking channel, so every user, no matter what the region can communicate and speak to us directly.
Once you have a thriving community, keeping hold of it is vital. Whilst we were still in beta we built a close relationship between our development team and our community and we needed to ensure that we retained it once we hit launch. This means when we start to look at new content to add to the game, the first place we go to is our community. We look at what we have already in-game and try to see what we are missing within the mechanics already available to players. We’re looking to fulfill their needs and add layers of gameplay which they will enjoy.
At Hoplon, we allow players to choose future models and characters through voting, so that we know when we do introduce something new into the game, it is something that they are going to love and relish.
All of this feeds into our eSport strategy. The very nature of Heavy Metal Machines is competitive, so anything which is added much retain the overall balance of the game. It must remain challenging yet enjoyable for our communities. We already have official championships in Europe and South America and are fast filling up the 2019 calendar to ensure that there is always something competitive for players to sink their teeth into. We have also introduced the Seasonal Metal Pass content which allows players to customise their game with unlockable cosmetic content. This ensures that the competitive spirit within the community remains strong. Utilising customizable content has been a key driver in player retention and has been pivotal in enticing that competitive spirit, not just brining in additional revenue.
Ultimately, our players are experts in our game, so it is their opinion which is most important to us. Our aim is to make sure they are having fun.
We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with Heavy Metal Machines. Our community supports us as we grow the game as a live product and it is their reaction which has shown that the game surpasses language and cultural barriers. We build the game in tandem with them, giving them agency in the future of the game and how it develops.
Everything we do is in support on that community and is the backbone of our ethos at Hoplon. It has allowed us to grow and expand with our community, increasing our worldwide presence.