Tom Sweeney is the Director of Gaming at Media Chain (part of the Social Chain Group), where he leads the team responsible for some of the world's largest gaming social media communities; including GameByte, FragHero, and other brands with a combined following of more than 9.1M gamers around the world. Prior to taking on the role at Media Chain, he held the position of Head of Community Management at Jagex for more than 3 years. He was responsible for community engagement, influencer marketing, and lead the company's foray into esports. During this time, he and his team were nominated for "Community Management of the Year" at the MCV Awards 3 times, finally winning the award at the 2018 MCV Awards. Tom is a self-confessed games nerd with 100% completion of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, thousands of hours logged in RuneScape, and an unhealthy obsession with Civ 5.
The state of gaming culture is unrecognisable from just five years ago. Social media has redefined the dynamic between developers and players forever. With more choice for players than ever before, the need to retain players has never been more critical to a game’s success. Social connections, and a feeling of community are one of the most effective ways of retaining players and increasing lifetime value. The industry is waking up to this value with many developers incorporating social and community principles throughout their entire development process. Tom Sweeney has been lucky enough to manage the biggest gaming communities in the world throughout my career. From Jagex's community of 250,000,000 RuneScape players, through to now running the biggest social-first gaming community in the world for Media Chain. In this talk, I'm going to share most valuable lessons I've learned during my career and will reveal how a community can make or break a game. I will show you how to maximise retention and increase the efficiency of marketing by leveraging their fans as community ambassadors.
Acquire, retain, convert. Community has the power to help you build your userbase, retain these customers, convert them to purchase and increase lifetime value.
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If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
I absolutely love coming to Develop, it’s a brilliant, brilliant conference – you just know you’re guaranteed to meet everyone.
Jo Twist, OBE
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
I’ve felt a big passion here at Develop!
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton 2018 - including speaking in the conference, taking a booth in the Expo or becoming a sponsor.Find out more