Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
The development team chose to integrate (what was then) a novel feature: when
your character (Drake) earns a trophy, reaches a level milestone, or does any of
a number of other things on the PlayStation console, the game posts an update
to your Twitter account, which automatically reposts to your Facebook account.
Uncharted 2 made superb use of social networking features to let users brag about
their in-game exploits. Many AAA retail products now have social network tie-ins
that help spread awareness of the game. Used with permission.
Their core notion was a superb one, but they quickly found a need to tweak
the details of their Twitter integration: friends and followers of early reviewers
of the game were mercilessly spammed with updates about what was happen-
ing inside Drake's world.
This feature received such immediate negative feedback that on September
29, 2009, two weeks before the game was released, the developers disabled
the feature in order to make changes that would reduce the amount of spam.
When they released the game, to great fanfare, a much more restrained version
of the feature allowed users to select what would be posted and how often.
The result was a game that had nothing to do with a social network and was in
fact impressive predominately for its single-player campaign, yet still managed
to leverage the power of social networks. The game went on to win numerous
accolades, including at least one Game of the Year award.
However, the lesson about being very careful about how much information
to post to a user's feed was one to which many other developers paid close
attention. Using social media to help spread the word about a game by letting
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