Fluid communication between a developer and its player-base is always an essential element. As we’ve come to see over the years, maintaining radio silence can rub a community the wrong way and make players feel alienated. Hence, why we’ve often see the CS:GO player-base raise questions over the unavailability of a full-time community manager.
During an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit yesterday, co-founder and president Gabe Newell was asked if there was any way to assign a community representative from Valve for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
His response proved to be wounding for the passionate player-base. Newell stated that Valve has never considered community managers because the development team prefers to communicate by shipping game updates.
However, this doesn’t mean that Valve is not in the habit of listening to feedback. The developers are constantly reading and listening to the community because “it’s an integral part of their jobs to do so”. When it’s finally time to act, game updates are released through the Steam platform to address issues or add functionality.
“We try to avoid disrupting conversations happening in the community, which is why we tend to be quiet a lot of the time,” he further added. “But we do weigh in when we have useful information to help those conversations along.”
At the same time, Newell agreed that this mode of communication can sometimes backfire due to long periods of silence. The CS:GO community may feel like it’s in an echo chamber and that Valve is not listening. “We’re always listening,” he assured.
Elsewhere in the AMA, Newell talked about the Source 2 engine and the misconception that it will solve all issues for CS:GO. In short, the studio’s new engine will not work for the first-person shooter. Instead, Valve picks out systems it needs to address and borrows the technology from Source 2 to ship out an update.