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.
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!
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
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.
By coming to Develop what you get is the opportunity to network like you can’t in any other situation. Everyone knows everyone and it’s such a wonderful community feel.
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
There really is a huge mix of people at Develop - loads of peers that you can learn from and the perfect blend of every element of game development as well.
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