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about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by mrchicano209

Lead Community Manger at EA must be the easiest f**king job there is. You can literally do nothing and still get paid for it.

Hijacking top comment, sorry about that.

Hello there,

I’ve seen a lot of threads like this recently and as time goes on, they get more and more aggressive, and that anger gets directed towards Freeman and the rest of the Community team on a personal level. I don’t think that’s fair, but instead of saying “don’t do this”, I wanted to explain a little of my thought process.

Working in Community is probably one of the most misunderstood roles within the industry. While on the surface it’s easy to think that it’s one of the easiest jobs around, from experience I can say it’s not.

You see, the problem with working in Community is that you’re always stuck in the middle. You have everyone looking to you for the answers, and that includes both internal teams and of course your player base. When things go well you end up in a great situation (which is sadly all too rare) where everyone’s wants and needs align.

In times like this, working in Community is at its most enjoyable. After all, you’re around happy people, and it becomes infectious. You ever play a round of your favourite game and everything just clicks? It’s kind of like that.

From experience though, those times are fleeting and my advice to anyone working in Community is always to enjoy them while you can because there’s always something around the corner.

I should note that working in Community is very much an iceberg job, in that the vast majority of your work goes unseen. Back when I was doing Community stuff (hello there /r/starwarsbattlefront, miss you) I would say that the public speaking element of the role was likely less than 10-15% of my work overall.

I used to joke that being a Community Manager is a bit like being a weatherman. You do your best with the information provided but if you say “It’ll be 22C tomorrow”, and then it turns out to be 21C, people start calling you a liar and various other things. It’s a poor analogy, but at a base level, it does kind of fit.

That’s likely the most frustrating part of the whole job, you’re reliant on receiving that information and if you aren’t given it then you are left in limbo. It might also be that you need to wait for other teams as well. I don’t want to go into the whole Marketing machine, but I will say that it’s far more than “send out a tweet”.

Even the simplest thing can be a monstrous effort, needing multiple teams across the world to come together to get it done. Is it a website update? Do you need to source artwork, is the artwork in the right ratios? Can someone write the copy? Then you need a team to localise it. Then the pages need to be built, social teams need to be informed, and customer support is brought up to speed. Do you have any partners? Do you need to let your platform holders know so they can support, do any store pages need an update? One tweet can often turn into a pandatableflip.gif of a process that needs to be followed. Nothing is ever as simple as "just a tweet".

Let’s take an example I can speak about with some confidence. If you are familiar with my work on Star Wars Battlefront II you will know that we used to release Community Transmissions. In the simplest form, these are just posts on Reddit containing info that we thought players wanted to hear. On average I think it used to take around a month from the first words being written to the CT going live. I'd have it all written in a day, but the rest is of the time is all that process that you need to follow.

There is so much work that goes unseen, it’s that iceberg from a few lines above again.

Of course, Community is just one cog in the machine, and as a cog it’s very hard to turn on your own, you need all the other cogs to be turning to allow you to make your rotations. If those cogs aren’t moving, you’re stuck in limbo. Sometimes you just need to wait it out, no matter how much WD40 you apply, time is the only thing that gets things moving.

I’ve never met a Community team that isn’t passionate about their players and want nothing but what is right for them. I’ve seen your Battlefield team go to bat for you with my own eyes, they care and rest assured they likely always will.

I suspect I’m starting to waffle on now. I’m not sure if this helps give some clarity into the realm of Community, and while I no longer work in that field, I hope you appreciate that I couldn’t sit back and not step in and have their backs, because they really do not deserve all the hate that is being thrown their way.

In short, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t or must not talk about things that you aren’t happy with. But do consider that there are people on the other side of the screen who your anger and frustration is directed at, and those people 100% don’t deserve it. None of your Community team are out there lying, everything they say is correct at the time they post it, sometimes the wind changes and you get caught in a sudden rain shower. All of them are doing everything they possibly can to make you happy.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I guess this is where I do my best Lars impression and say, See you on the Battlefield.


about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by AWildSlowpoke

Funny how he won't reply back to this at all

I posted it quite late in the evening, went to play some more Ghost of Tsushima.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by sad_joker95

Please don’t do this to us again.

Narrator; they’re going to do exactly that again.

I spent a lot of time with BFII and BFV and I learned that DICE sucks at communication - they always have. Communication, bug fixes, and general balance have always been their low points. While making visual beautiful games is their highest point.

I want to be optimistic about this game, but seeing how they’re already struggling, DICE LA is leaving after launch, and how they treated BFII / BFV… oof.

I think BFV improved in this regard as time went on, always room for further improvement. Be interesting to hear what time frame you played BFII.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by dkb_wow

I think everyone here completely understands that things can change at a moments notice and that's fine - just tell us. You guys made a commitment during Battlefield V to have more open, honest, and transparent communication. So do what you told us. We're begging you to stick to your word at this point and we shouldn't have to.

We've got our community manager telling us things like "I'll be helping to answer questions as we move towards November 19th." So we ask questions and we get ignored. Not a "Sorry I can't answer that yet", just completely ignored.

Please don't do this to us again. Battlefield V was a terrible time to be a fan of Battlefield due to the silence and vagueness we got from you guys. We are your hardcore fans and the people that always support your games no matter what. We shouldn't have to beg and plead for any sliver of official information.

And that's completely fair. I was part of that commitment during BFV, and I know your current Community Team feels the same way. I'm speaking out of my comfort zone now, as I'm not involved in marketing anymore, but I have to believe that what you are after is coming.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by woessss

The Problem I see here is that the CM gets all the heat, because the actual people responsible for such important information like beta and release dates don’t have the balls to take the responsibility for such statements. But just use the CM as a dummy.

This just shows that the higher ups aren’t even feeling responsible for their product. Because if they did, they would have provide a statement by themselves and not just say „hey CM tweet this“. But maybe I’m wrong and CM f**ked up ? Who knows. Just my two cents.

As a CM you're often at the mercy of what you can and can't say. Is very rare you will have a CM that gets to dictate things themselves.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by eruffini

If you're reading this f8rge the issue is confirming when new info will be shared, not following through and NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING YOU DIDNT FOLLOW THROUGH. Please explain to me why there wasn't even a "sorry we'll talk about this next week instead?"

Because the Community Managers can't just go and post shit without approval.


about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by The_g0d_f4ther

Maybe it actually did, it’s just not enough in today’s climate.

That could be fair. I've always thought that you should never settle, but should always be looking for improvement, regardless of your field/output.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by keyvox

I don't care how you use your vacation time, but I think that one word will only upset people's emotions. Isn't it enough to say that it was quite late?

Just explaining why there was no response. I could have said "it was late", but that feels a little cold and I'll always try and inject a bit of personality/human touch in things.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by keyvox

I see. Well, thank you for your hard work! Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the completion of BF2042. Good luck.

See you on the Battlefield

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by Youngling_Hunt

Side note, but man I miss the Battlefront CTs and updates. So much fun, and I think u and the community management team did awesome (once the rough launch was patched up of course. At that time I understand the issues with communication).

Username checks out.

about 2 years ago - /u/F8RGE - Direct link

Originally posted by Th3_Eclipse

Even after the promotion can't let old habits of trying to support the community go huh? EA doesn't deserve you Ben lmao

This is the way?

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