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Video: What to do when your game suffers an inevitable PR crisis

Former CCP community manager Valerie Massey knows that PR crises are inevitable, and in this GDC Online presentation, she outlines what developers can do to prepare for and overcome these problems.

September 10, 2012

3 Min Read

No matter who you are or how talented your team is, every game developer eventually has to deal with a public relations crisis. You might upset your fan base or say something you didn't mean, but regardless of the issue, a good developer needs to be ready to tackle and fix these challenging and often unexpected issues. Few people understand that more than Valerie Massey, a former community manager at EVE Online developer CCP (now of community analytics firm CLARA), who has seen and taken care of plenty of game industry PR troubles. And at GDC Online 2011, Massey gave an in-depth presentation to help other developers and community managers do the same. Most importantly, Massey said that developers need to understand that most PR crises are unavoidable, and everyone needs to acknowledge that they will face these problems at some point in their career. "It is inevitable that you will face a crisis. That's not me being an alarmist, that is just a fact. A crisis can even be mild; your server went down, there was a glitch, there was some lag... but a poorly handled crisis can haunt you for years, so matter what you do right, that one thing will come up in every story [the press writes] about you," she said. "They key to success is advanced planning and advanced preparation. The time to think about things is when it's quiet. You don't want to think about it, but you'll need to. Take full advantage of those quiet moments." Throughout her lecture, Massey examined major PR problems both in and outside of the game industry to illustrate what to do when things go awry. To learn more about preparing for and fixing these issues, check out the full video of her presentation, courtesy of the GDC Vault. Simply click the Play button above to start the video.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers plenty more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC and GDC Europe already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Online and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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