So, you all may have noticed my posting dropping to a crawl the past weeks. This is due to a couple of reasons. One, I just simply got busy. I've been playing the game, I just haven't had the time to write about it. Two, I lost my contact on the inside at The Amazing Society. She left for a mobile phone game company.
This is not an uncommon thing in the game industry. People come and go all the time, and sometimes a majority of a game's work force will be laid off after a game launches. I don't think there were layoffs involved here and SHSO is well past launch, but in general a lot of time is spent up front on a game, and then after it publishes, the developer (The Amazing Society in this case) usually scales back the crew a bit.
MMOs are a bit different, however, because there is supposed to be an "eternal" (I put that in quotes because eternal really just means however long the MMO can hold out) release cycle. For us in SHSO that seems to mostly come in the form of new heroes, missions, and card packs. (I'd love to see a new zone or two besides the four we have to roam around in currently.)
Usually MMOs of any grandeur will have a community manager in charge of taking people like me (and wherever the fans may be located--Facebook, Twitter, forums, podcasts, etc.) along for the ride while the game continues its life cycle.
My old contact did a great job of that. She actually tracked me down on another blog of mine where I had talked a bit about Super Hero Squad Online, and she supplied me with a few codes to give away in a raffle. I loved that, and I loved that she was willing to work with me on providing an upper hand on news about the game. To me that's exactly how a Community Manager should interface with a game blogger like myself. It was fun! Fun enough that I started up this blog separate from my other blog. My time spent writing about SHSO deserved a home of its own. Thus, the Time Hound Times was born.
Unfortunately my old contact was doing two jobs (if not three). Her real job was to be the Senior Producer for the game, not solely the Community Manager. The previous "dedicated" Community Manager for Super Hero Squad Online jetted to go work for Pokemon (. . . at least that's what her LinkedIn page seemed to say).
With my contact's departure back in the first part of March, she told me she passed the mantle on to someone else remaining at The Amazing Society, who probably also is working the weight of a couple jobs (Looks like they've been keeping Facebook up to date pretty good though). I honestly don't know since no one has reached out to me from TAS to say hello. (*wave* if you're reading this TAS. Please say hello!)
So, long story short, I'm sorry I'm not able to provide you all with a quick scoop on info or hold a contest with company sponsored gifts (loved giving away a free hero--that was awesome). Until someone says hello and I get back in the loop, I'll do my best to keep up with news, but it probably won't be like it was around here a couple months ago.
I don't know what the relationship is like between Gazillion and TAS, but I am guessing most of the Marketing for the game is done by Gazillion and the brunt work is done by TAS. It'd be nice to get some community management again . . . whether that comes from Gaz or TAS, right? right.