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How Team Partnerships Stabilize and Grow Gaming Communities

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

SUPERSPONSORS are teams with whom the Overclocking Alpha has cross-promotional/support partnerships.

The health and vitality of a gaming community are determined not just by the number of players in the base but by the number (and quality) of teams in the wider gaming community. This is not true for all games, of course. Single-player and many Co-op games don't have teams, and so the need for partnerships doesn't exist. But it is certainly true for team-oriented games like Squad, Post Scriptum, and Hell Let Loose. And it's especially true for games that are still in development yet open to the public.

Why Team Partnerships are Important

1) Team partnerships shape and maintain a positive game culture. 1.1 Across the board, the online gaming environment is notoriously toxic. There are countless videos and articles online that talk about this, but you need only hang out in any FPS/RTS Steam discussion forum to see for yourself. The reasons for the toxicity are just as numerous, but chief among them is that there are few, if any, consequences for bad behavior. Team partnerships allow for partial and even community-wide bans of problem players.

1.2 What's more, due to their highly competitive natures, team partnerships tend to propagate what works best among teams in terms of growth. What works best is invariably delivering on the promise of a fun, safe, "positive" gaming community. Unlike mods in many Steam discussion forums, to safeguard their communities, team moderators police their threads. Toxicity is a cancer that should be cut out from wherever it takes hold. Partnerships provide consensus on what will and will not be posted.

The aggregate of these activities over time is what can turn a weak (toxic) wider gaming community into a strong one (not-so-toxic). As more teams partner up and what works best spreads, a consistent, pro-dev, pro-game, pro wider community begins to arise. Growth for the wider community then ticks up, and all teams flourish as a result of increased interest in the game and improved retention overall.

2) Partnerships improve the viability of each cooperating team.

1.1 Teams (broadly defined as discrete gaming communities within the wider gaming communities of which they are a part) are highly fluid organizations. To survive, a team requires a constant flow of energy into the community. This "energy" comes in two principal forms. The first is member engagement. The second is goal-setting. Member engagement refers to any and all activity that reflects, expands upon, or drives the team narrative forward. The "team narrative" is the overall picture of what your team has done, is doing now, and intends to do in the future. Here's an example: The HLLTC is a pillar of the wider Hell Let Loose gaming community. The HLLTC (Hell Let Loose Training Camp) has created a wide variety of community-support content, has organized and hosted numerous training events, skirmishes, and competitions, and works to maintain a pro-dev, pro-game, pro wider community gaming environment for all. The HLLTC is currently expanding into other games with the same general objective in mind -- foster a fun, safe, positive gaming experience for everyone everywhere.

Your team narrative is an important part of your community's brand. Aspects of this narrative should be present everywhere and especially on your website.

This is the HLLTC's narrative. Everything HLLTC members do and post (our members' total engagement) reflects this narrative, "expands" upon it, or is a consequence of it. At the same time, if this member activity suddenly stopped, the HLL Training Camp would die. The activity keeps the team narrative alive. But the narrative cannot be sustained by member engagement alone. It needs direction. 1.2 Direction is goal-setting. Generally handled by team/community leadership, goal-setting is simply deciding what your team will do next. As a form of "energy in," goal-setting gives your members a sense of purpose. The purpose-driven gaming experience is on the rise in gaming communities, but the purpose-driven experience has its roots in basic community management. Without goals, a team can run out of steam. And this is where partnerships can help. Here's how.

For teams to partner, community leaders must develop and maintain good working relationships. As mentioned, these relationships often include sharing best practices (i.e. "what works best") in terms of growing and maintaining a gaming community. But partnered teams are just as likely to participate in group training events, to skirmish each other, and to shoulder the workload of organizing and hosting tournaments. All provide the necessary direction that might otherwise be difficult to develop alone.

Give As Good As You Get

Team partnerships function best when the exchange between teams is equitable and balanced. For example, HLLTC SUPERSPONSORS promote HLLTC's videos in the message sections (deploy screen message) of their gaming servers. In return, the HLLTC offers SUPERSPONSORS promotions in select videos produced by GOD-sSs-END. These promotions can take several forms, but the most common is a generous end credit that includes team logos with links.

Learn about GOD-sSs-END's SUPERSPONSOR program and partner with us at Overclocking Alpha.

The HLLTC also gives SUPERSPONSORS premium placement on the official HLLTC HQ website (see top of page). This placement includes links to each SUPERSPONORS promo post in the HLLTC HQ forum.

SUPERSPONSOR Requirements: 1) To be eligible for the HLLTC's SUPERSPONSOR program, teams must have a top-teams recruiter in the HLLTC and be a member of the HLLTC HQ.

2) Teams must have posted a promo in the Top Teams Recruiting section of the HLLTC's forum. For the top-teams' promo format/checklist, click here.

3) Teams must have at least one public gaming server, and this server must operate at 50 percent capacity (50/100 for HLL), 30 percent of the time. 4) Teams should include the following cross-promotional note in all gaming servers message areas (deploy screen message):

For tutorials and guides, visit the Hell Let Loose Training Camp (HLLTC) on YouTube

There are many other advantages of being an HLLTC SUPERSPONSOR. These advantages are provided on a case-by-case basis and determined by the level of commitment and interest of each participating team.

Learn about Overclocking Alpha's SUPERSPONSOR cross-promotional program and promote your online gaming community.

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