Electronics Arts has a vibrant online community of games on their site. I spent 2 days “watching and viewing” their online community to get a feel for their community. My EA Community ID is TodCWait.
The one takeaway: Integrated Brand & Community experience
Most valuable brands unfortunately treat communities like a pet project of the support or community team or worse the ophan that the geeks down in customer service came up with. Not that way with EA. Their look and feel for the site is very well integrated with their brand experience (notice the colors, images and also the forum naming and discussion promotion.
Suggestion to make it better
The community only has forums and nothing else to get the community excited about – which is so 2001! I would recommend including relevant RSS feeds (e.g. Sports News from Sporting.com or ESPN) on gaming related sports titles. Also include blog feeds from game developers on what their thought process was when they designed it. Finally how about a Wiki for users to give them ability to create a “fake path” within the games to develop “unintended uses of the game” – let creativity flow among users.