As a continuation of our Client Spotlight series, here is our second installation featuring Guy Gayford of 1000fraggers (www.1000fraggers.com), a multiplayer gaming network to connect, share and play. Here’s Guy!
SocialEngine: What made you decide to start 1000fraggers, and what makes your videogame community unique?
Guy Gayford: The concept behind 1000fraggers had been in the mix for a few years. Being involved with online gaming, and running online gaming clans, we noticed that there was a gap in the market for social networks dedicated to multiplayer gamers. We had looked at various CMS platforms, including Ning, Joomla, Mixxt etc., but found them too restrictive for future development to suit our needs.
What makes our site unique for gamers is the fact we’re not a closed network. We allow gamers and clans, game manufacturers and communities to advertise their sites, products and news, direct to our membership in the main activity feed. We already have reps from Crytek – Crysis and EA on the site. Basically our members have embraced 1000fraggers as a first person shooter (FPS) multiplayer ‘hub’, where people can share everything multiplayer related, across all platforms. Our members are now saying ‘This is like Facebook, except with less drama’ and ‘Nice to find a gaming community where there are no platform wars…good karma here’. The overall support and feedback from our membership and user interaction has been fantastic so far.
SE: How did you come up with your name? Do all of your members identify themselves as fraggers?
Guy: The name 1000fraggers came from the vision of having 1000’s of people playing games online together, all linked into one community. The word ‘fragging’ is a general term used by online gamers when someone shoots or uses a grenade against another opponent and kills them. It is known as ‘fragging’ your opponent.
Our members have totally grasped the ‘fraggers’ concept and greet each other in the main feed with ‘Good morning fraggers, anyone up for a game?’ or ‘Do any of you fraggers fancy starting a gaming clan with me?’. Our members have also given 1000fraggers a nickname ‘1KF’ which they are using as their in-game ‘clan tag’.
SE: Membership is over 900 and growing daily. What steps did you take to grow your community?
Guy: As of yet we have not carried out any direct marketing. We did have a show stand at the Game Developers Exhibition earlier this year in Scotland which got our community kick started. The advertising at the moment is word of mouth. As soon as a new member signs up they tell their friends, and it has grown from there.
Also, we are currently making a movie viral to promote 1000fraggers to be released on our Youtube channel in a few months.
SE: Is your site homemade? Have you worked with any developers?
Guy: All the development and modifications of the SocialEngine framework has been developed in house. We have found the SocialEngine core very easy to work with and modify, allowing us to customise page layout and build our own widget systems etc. We did have a few problems server side to start with, being on a shared server did slow things down, also getting replies to support tickets was a bit slow. So we decided to move the site over to a dedicated box which has opened up the full power of the SocialEngine core, giving us greater control over how the system works on the server, making it faster and smoother for the end user.
SE: Are you making any money from your site? How do you make ends meet?
Guy: At the moment we don’t have any revenue from the site. We received a small government grant to help with server/game server costs with the support from Interactive Tayside and The Scottish Business Enterprise. We are currently in talks with the games industry about future advertising and sponsorship as our community base increases, and also for when Battle Arena and the 1000fraggers Tournament Systems come online.
SE: How are you attracting new members to your site?
Guy: Currently our members are recruiting people across all the different game platforms. Most use banner ads supplied in our Fankit Section to add them to their gaming sites and blogs. We also have 1000fraggers Twitter/ Facebook/YouTube pages, and have found that them to be nice little marketing tools. We are currently working on ideas to convert our 2,416,104 page viewers into actual signups with the implementation of a new front-end design.
SE: What keeps your members engaged on the site? Tell us about events and your upcoming Battle Arena, and what’s the news about an online magazine?
Guy: Fun is the main attraction, being able to meet people who play the same games online, becoming friends and playing together. Especially being able to play on the 1000fraggers game servers. Our members enjoy sharing the latest gaming news and in-game video, or even making their own gaming video’s and posting them on the site. We now have a group of core members that actively hunt out the latest gaming news to post in the main feed, keeping activity live and up to date. As a result we are developing a Flash based 1000fraggers online magazine, which will showcase the hottest gaming news from our members and will also have game reviews, featured gaming clans and members.
Battle Arena seems to have created quite a buzz and will go live quite soon. Battle Arena brings team-based multiplayer action to 1000fraggers, allowing members or clans to team up and challenge other teams playing their favourite games online together. All results will be displayed in our league tables for each platform. Later in the year we will be releasing a new multiplayer Tournament System.
SE: What have you accomplished or learned from this experience thus far?
Guy: Running a successful community is loads of fun, but it does take a lot hard work and commitment to your membership. The biggest step was hitting that Live button, and wondering if people would take on the concept and idea. As we come up to the 1000th member, the chat in the community seems to be we are doing everything right, even listening to member feedback and giving gamers what they want. We still have a lot of hard work to do, but we feel at the end of the day that it will be worth it. Exciting times.
SE: What are your short-term goals for the community?
Guy: We are planning a launch party for Battle Arena on our game servers and making a big marketing push across all gaming platforms with a view to attracting sponsors and advertisers.
SE: Where do you see the site in three years time?
Guy: We hope to be one of the leading players in the online gaming community for providing the latest news, reviews, hint & tips and to provide a fun, well administrated, fair play gaming environment. Be it on our range of game servers or on one of the many game servers provided by our registered clans.
SE: To conclude, what made you choose SocialEngine?
Guy: Having tried and tested various CMS community systems, the attraction of SocialEngine was the similarity to Facebook; it was a system that people knew how to use. Being lightweight and the addictive nature of the main feed, we thought it would be something gamers would love.
You may contact 1000fraggers directly for any specific questions.
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