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Introducing Etch Play's Mission

Dan Thomas
Dan Thomas
Head of Game Services 20 Jan 20205 minutes read

Dan Thomas looks ahead and provides an insight into the plans Etch Play have for 2020 and beyond.

Now we've settled in at Etch, the Play team are switching up a gear for 2020. We have some high ambitions for the year ahead, and we decided to share them here in blog form. So, here they are.

Firstly...

This is our new strap line. Whilst a seemingly simple statement, it succinctly describes our opinion on the industry we love and operate in. It also helps to illustrate our potential for impact within the community.

The games industry is all about providing experiences. Those experiences are of utmost importance to those consuming and creating them. Our involvement plays a key role in that too and everything we do is underpinned by our understanding of how important it is to provide a complete package.

It is our belief that everything a games business does, is a part of the overall player experience. From the actual game itself through to all communications, websites, advertising, community management and everything in between. It's all the experience, and the experience is everything.

With that in mind, I'd like to introduce...

The Extended Experience

The Extended Experience is our proposition. It's what we think about day and night. We know our clients have the "core" experience under control and our goal is to make all of the extra stuff (essential to a successful title!) as carefully crafted and considered as the game itself.

We aim to get games companies to think about how their audiences discover, purchase and engage with their titles and make that a part of the player experience. This can take many forms. For example, we want to inspire audio designers and narrative writers to think about what a mini podcast series might look like in anticipation of a big release. We want teams to think about what the first touchpoint is with a potential player, and how to keep them engaged with video content and strategic, imaginative marketing campaigns across multiple delivery mechanisms. We want to give art directors visibility on the creativity that exists within their teams, beyond the production process, enabling them to bring their talent to players outside the game world. We want to help fans share their excitement and engage early, through community tools and campaigns that manifest before, during and after a game release. These are all examples of the extended experience, and this is the area where we have the most value to offer.

A screenshot of the Galactic Atlas, a companion website we built for No Man's Sky (Hello Games)

A screenshot of the Galactic Atlas, a companion website we built for No Man's Sky (Hello Games)

We're historically known as the people who make websites for games companies, but our immersion in the games industry, long history in digital, wider Etch family and extended network affords us the opportunity to help with much more than that. Throughout 2020, and beyond, our mission is to build on these strengths and help more games businesses get further faster by helping them with their extended experience strategy.

For the love of Play

We have always believed in the power of community, and we seek to offer value with no conditions or expectations. From providing free events such as our Rocket Jump Events series, hackdays like Hacksoton, helping out with grassroots conferences like Guildford Games Festival and offering other resources such as gameuipatterns.com. We are also actively involved in various open source projects that give back to the community. All of these things, and much more, are efforts which we will be sharing more info on soon as the year progresses.

A photograph from one of our Rocket Jump events

A photograph from one of our Rocket Jump events

All that is to say we will be staying true to this course, and even ramping up our giving efforts throughout 2020. These extracurricular activities and side projects are the Play team manifestation of an important Etch mantra: love what you do.

Let's Play

We will be sharing our ongoing adventures here on our website and via all the usual social channels, so please do join us. Most things are more fun with friends, and we'd love to have you watch along and come with us on the ride.

If you have thoughts or ideas about the extended experience, please drop us a message, or if you want to know more about what we can do, check out some of our previous work.

We're just getting started.