What can be done to make a toxic Steam community actually healthy? I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: visibility. The more visible you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to raise awareness of the toxic elements within your community.
Total War: Rome II is still about a month away from release on the PC, but it seems I’m already getting some flack on the Steam forums. Fortunately, in the week since I started commenting, the online hostility has abated somewhat. The trouble started when I started pointing out that many of the forum’s threads, and threads in general, were stagnant and boring. Since then, the negativity has really abated, at least as measured by the number of posts in all threads, and the proportion of negative posts (which tends to be more of a “toxic” than a “troll” in my experience). In short, I’ve helped turn the forum into one that’s more useful to both the community members and their fellow
Total War Dev Says Being Visible Can Turn A Toxic Steam Community Around | I’ve just spent the last few days in total war reddit. This is a reddit community for Total War games. I expect it’s similar to the Steam community, but it’s smaller.
While it’s customary to lament the condition of online gaming communities, combating a poisonous one may be easier than you think. Developer Creative Assembly, according to Grace Carroll, was able to turn around its own communities just by being there. She said that just by participating, they were able to make a significant impact in only a week.
Carroll delivered a thorough and insightful presentation on community management at the Develop conference in Brighton last week, which she claimed is more essential than most studios and developers think. “A lot of studios may consider community to be fluff,” Carroll added. “It’s essential, but it’s not enough to win the game, right?”
“However, the importance of community cannot be overstated. Your gamers, or those that purchase and play your games, are your community. You want to respect them and have a representation in your studio because they’re who you’re creating it for.” Because of the subject matter of Creative Assembly’s Total War series, Carroll said that things may “become very political,” and that the forums “weren’t a very pleasant place to be.””