@TC Octus, @TC Vectes
I’m reviving this thread from the old forums because I think it’s important for the Gears Community and to also allow for a more detailed response from TC. Since I couldn’t figure out how to carry over my old topic, I’ll summarize it again.
TC has an Official Gears Feedback Program, which you can sign up for here: Gears Feedback Program. This program, by its own description, is to “get better insights from our players and factor them into The Coalition decisions.”, in other words to obtain Community Feedback. This sounds great because almost everything TC has done in the past few months has been ‘based on Community Feedback’, except when you actually look at this program it is very rarely used.
I signed up for the Official Gears Feedback Program just after Gears 4 released and participated in exactly 1 survey the February after launch (missed the very first one). After that I have received exactly 0 surveys. Apparently a handful of people have gotten surveys since then, but most have not. Everyone else I’ve talked to, for instance in one of our Gears Facebook communities of ~16,000 people, only 2 people reported having gotten an Official Gears Feedback survey in the last year.
So my question is this, where exactly is all of this supposed ‘Community Feedback’ coming from? It’s obviously not coming from the Official Gears Feedback Program.
Before I go further, I do want to point out a few things before I go into why these are all problems.
- I understand that Octus and Vectes have said they are filtering feedback from supposedly all sources, i.e. the forums, community streams, events, Twitter, etc.
- Octus was kind enough to partially answer my question regarding this about a month ago during a community stream.
Now, here are my issues with those 2 points (I will get to my solution at the end).
- Those sources of feedback are not always good sources of feedback. The sample size is small and you do not get the entire community’s feedback (say if someone throws out an idea in the chat during a community stream or is just a random Tweet). You also do not get the entire community’s feedback to those inputs/ideas (i.e. if only briefly seen in the chat stream or buried on page 5 of 12 in a thread). Only a handful of people, maybe into the dozens, may see that comment or chat and respond to it. Not a very good sampling of the Gears Community.
- The brief answer Octus gave was essentially that another department created and used the Official Gears Feedback Program and that he and the Community Team had little to do with it. This is just wrong on so many levels. For instance, why create a Feedback Program if you’re not going to use it? So what if one department created it, can’t other departments use it to also gather feedback from the Gears Community? This is a very powerful and important tool and I think it’s going to waste. And why have so few surveys been sent out? I think we could count the total number of surveys sent out on 1 hand for a game that has been out for almost 2 years. That seems to be incredibly low to justify most of the recent decisions to have been determined ‘by the feedback from the community’.
- Use the Official Gears Feedback Program more (maybe once every 2-3 months) and actually use it to gather the feedback you say you need. There are literally THOUSANDS of people who signed up for the Official Gears Feedback Program so you will get a sample size much greater than what you are getting now. It also allows you to structure your questions in a constructive manner that focuses the feedback on areas you need it.
- Be more transparent about the Feedback Program (i.e. publish results, statistics, and what conclusions you draw based on the feedback, and any actions TC will take based on feedback). There really isn’t a downside to this, because now you can unequivocally say that the actions you are taking are based on Community Feedback and have something to back it up instead of the Community just having to take your word for it.
TC, all this is constructive feedback so I’m hoping one of your community managers will take the time to respond with an actual response. Thanks for taking the time to read and let me know what you think.