Starting a gaming news site & community

Lo'Gosh

Aspirant
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
12
Hello everyone.

I had an idea about creating a gaming site related to a game developer, lets say it's Blizzard (just example, it's not Blizzard).

I find a nice domain about it and created the site and forum on the subdomain.

On main domain, I created a WordPress website to share news about "Blizzard" games and on forum subdomain, I created a forum community for the fans of "Blizzard" to discuss about it's games and other media like movies of "Blizzard" games.

I'm in lack of experience about the advertising the site and reaching wider audiences. What advices you can give a beginner about this? I'm actively using social media accounts too.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,377
Let's assume you've received the usual "gaming is a highly competitive, over-saturated area, you're doomed to failure, blah, blah" replies and move on.

You can try using social media to attract some interest, as well as spending time posting in other gaming forums with a link to your site in your signature (if the forum allows -- many don't), and even send out some announcements about your forum to people you know.

In the end, the things that will get your forum the most traction is content and time.

You need to build up a body of content before anyone will have a reason to visit or join the forum. You aren't likely to get that content from paid posters or post exchanges. Nor are you going to get a lot out of reposting news releases on Wordpress. Be prepared to spend the next several months writing articles such as critiques, and point of view pieces that target your intended audience. And yes, I said several months. It could take a year or more before your forum gets enough interest and active members to start generating good content. Until then, you are the one that will keep it afloat, so make sure you have the knowledge and interest to write all that.

You can help yourself a lot by doing a bit of research up front to identify your audience. It's not enough to say "well it's people who love BoffoGames games." Most of those won't RTFM, so forget them joining some forum to talk about the games and the company. Most of the rest will never look beyond the official forum/discord. They are just looking for tech support or help with a tough part of the game. So that leaves you chasing a small percentage of people who think the way you do about the games and the company. That's where you need to focus your attention.

You need to figure out who those people are and what they are like. How old are they? What do they do? What level of education do they have? What is it about this company and it's games that interests them? These are the people you have in mind when writing all that content. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to write for them, to interest them, and to entice them to join the discussion.
 

DigNap15

Fan
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
690
@NevDull
If I owned a gaming forum I woud not like (or even not allow) members to post links to other gaming forums
To me that shows a complete lack of loyalty.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,377
I get it. That's why forums are in the state they are. We all fear that imagined competition, so no one will work with anyone else to make a better experience for the users.
 

vikvaliant

Participant
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
98
After you get it running you could try contacting the gaming company in question and ask them for suggestions or if there is anything they'd like to see on your site. Maybe they'll send you some swag that you can give away, share breaking or development news, a special site discount if your members make purchases, or grant interviews that you can post as exclusive content.
 
Last edited:

Lo'Gosh

Aspirant
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
12
Let's assume you've received the usual "gaming is a highly competitive, over-saturated area, you're doomed to failure, blah, blah" replies and move on.

You can try using social media to attract some interest, as well as spending time posting in other gaming forums with a link to your site in your signature (if the forum allows -- many don't), and even send out some announcements about your forum to people you know.

In the end, the things that will get your forum the most traction is content and time.

You need to build up a body of content before anyone will have a reason to visit or join the forum. You aren't likely to get that content from paid posters or post exchanges. Nor are you going to get a lot out of reposting news releases on Wordpress. Be prepared to spend the next several months writing articles such as critiques, and point of view pieces that target your intended audience. And yes, I said several months. It could take a year or more before your forum gets enough interest and active members to start generating good content. Until then, you are the one that will keep it afloat, so make sure you have the knowledge and interest to write all that.

You can help yourself a lot by doing a bit of research up front to identify your audience. It's not enough to say "well it's people who love BoffoGames games." Most of those won't RTFM, so forget them joining some forum to talk about the games and the company. Most of the rest will never look beyond the official forum/discord. They are just looking for tech support or help with a tough part of the game. So that leaves you chasing a small percentage of people who think the way you do about the games and the company. That's where you need to focus your attention.

You need to figure out who those people are and what they are like. How old are they? What do they do? What level of education do they have? What is it about this company and it's games that interests them? These are the people you have in mind when writing all that content. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to write for them, to interest them, and to entice them to join the discussion.

After you get it running you could try contacting the gaming company in question and ask them for suggestions or if there is anything they'd like to see on your site. Maybe they'll send you some swag that you can give away, share breaking or development news, or grant interviews that you can post as exclusive content.
Thank you so much. Your comments give me some insights on this. I'll keep these in my mind.
 

cdub24

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
155
I would think a gaming forum would have to be extremely niche or for a game just announced to be successful at all these days. Same for every type of forum.

Content is King. You need good original content. Be it articles or blogs or forum posts.
 

Uncrowned

Participant
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
54
There is no magical way to grow rapidly in the gaming world beyond massive budgets and even that can be questioned as getting users to find a gaming site in 2021 is basically like trying to find a single piece of hay in a hay pile. However, the gaming market is massive and full of passionate individuals that are 100% willing to get more involved with the industry to satisfy an endless joy for gaming and as gamers leave the hobby, more gamers enter the hobby.

Many of the massive gaming platforms are struggling as they took too long to adapt to modern viral media outlets and this has opened many doors. Granted you absolutely can find success in the world's largest entertainment market that continues to grow and adapt, but you need to ask yourself if you have the passion and commitment to building your project without nearly any hope of early success and potentially years of being fueled by nothing more than the drive to succeed. A saturated market does not mean failure, it just makes those that succeed earn their success.

On a side note, be wary of a singular developer-based project as there is no reason to believe that a certain company will remain itself long enough for you to build a project on. Blizzard is a great example of a gaming giant that would surprise no one if they rebranded or simply completely merged into Activision and separated their games out into new branches. 5 years ago, no one would have seen Blizzard as anything besides an unstoppable gaming giant and today they can barely even open their office doors.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,023
5 years ago, no one would have seen Blizzard as anything besides an unstoppable gaming giant and today they can barely even open their office doors.
You've piqued my interest. Is that because of the 'frat boy' sexual harassment lawsuit, the declining customer base or something else? Aside from that isn't that kind of news bread and butter for a gaming site? e.g. the decline of vBulletin has generated a lot more content than it ever did when they were top of the pile.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,733
There is no magical way to grow rapidly in the gaming world beyond massive budgets
Pick a popular or trending 'live service game', and make a forum focused on that.

These games keep changing over time, are frustrating to play without a community forming around datamining and theorycrafting, and ingame communication methods are simplified deliberately to limit discussion, so a forum helps retain the engagement of active players that find reddit a very limiting venue to discuss anything.

Sure, discord channels could steal your thunder but there even more limited than reddit, and a website has lasting well organized information that can be found from search engines. Discords still need websites, and you can do both at once to make sure they benefit from each other, this way even if forums dont appeal to your users you can still get them active on discord and vice versa.
 

Jeremy8

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
194
On a side note, be wary of a singular developer-based project as there is no reason to believe that a certain company will remain itself long enough for you to build a project on
You're not wrong, but what's the alternative? If your community's niche is too broad, people generally won't see any reason to participate.
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
915
I'm in lack of experience about the advertising the site and reaching wider audiences. What advices you can give a beginner about this?
What can you offer that no other website offers?

Is it:
  • Exclusivity?
  • Authoritativeness?
  • Depth and research?
  • Breadth?
  • Speed?
  • Ease?
  • Organization?
  • Aestheticness and design?
  • Remembrance?
  • etc etc.
You are attempting to build something without knowing your strategy of why and what you're building. I would encourage you to not ask random Internet strangers, but to turn inwards and ask yourself, what would you like to see on the Internet that no one else is building right now? Then go for it.
 

Uncrowned

Participant
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
54
You've piqued my interest. Is that because of the 'frat boy' sexual harassment lawsuit, the declining customer base or something else? Aside from that isn't that kind of news bread and butter for a gaming site? e.g. the decline of vBulletin has generated a lot more content than it ever did when they were top of the pile.
Basically just the bad PR they are building for quite some time (the lawsuits, Hong Kong, the WoW remakes, D2's remake, etc.). Would the massively popular Blizzard name go away? I have my doubts, but it is not uncommon for companies with bad PR and customer outcry to try and fix things by changing their name or rebranding as a "new" service of some type. Although you are correct, the media explosion has both made the topic well sought out and also crippled many official outlets trying to do damage control, so it is absolutely something to build off of. But you need a game plan on what the long-term focus is. It could be a huge boost to start and then ride that success for years/decades or it could be something that dies off rapidly and ends with your site brand being about a brand that no longer exists in the same format.

I'm not saying it is a bad idea, just something to think about.
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,152
I get it. That's why forums are in the state they are. We all fear that imagined competition, so no one will work with anyone else to make a better experience for the users.
You really hit this on the head.
I have found that in everything else where I've saw competition as collaborators instead, we have been able to have more success.
I think this is one of the best statements on TAZ.
 

JoyFreak

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
156
Gaming websites are very competitive. Too many out there. Pick a more specific gaming niche and start from there.
 
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