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[With the NFL season finally underway and Madden 16 a must-have for all football fans, EA Sports Creative Director Rex Dickson tells SOHH why avid gamers are so important to the brand.]

We look at “Madden” players for research and promotion. We have a game-changers program where top players in the community come down four or five times a year for a week playing the game and giving us feedback.

We engage with the community and I consider “Madden” one of the best in-class titles in all of EA because “Madden” is so strong and I think we’re just scratching the surface in how to utilize them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eVF9uBbuqc

There is an initiative right now to find out how we can take some of the videos they created and turn them into an actual user-generated ad campaign that’s supported by our PR department.

They are actually giving us gameplay feedback on the fly and we have private Facebook pages where they can send us feedback as soon as it comes in.

We treat those people in the community that are connected to the development team as sort of the mouthpiece of the community at large. When the “Madden” community is complaining about something, we rely on those guys to tell us, “Hey, we’re hearing from our subs that this is the direction you need to go.”

For a creative director, that’s like making a decision with binders taken off. Those decisions are being informed by people directly in the community.

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