This fit of admiration was inspired by two articles I read yesterday. One announced a writing contest; entrants must create a Neverwinter Nights module via which to tell their story, and the winners get a job working for Bioware. Good (free) content and good employees in one fell swoop. Nice.
The second article summarized a recent lecture by Bioware’s web community manager. The whole thing is worth reading if you care about learning from your customers, fostering a fan base, creating “super-fans”, and/or grooming an audience for future sales.
Bioware really understands the value of social engagement and user-generated content, two of the differentiators that make games so much more interesting (and potentially lucrative) than other forms of media.
They’re also smart recruiters. It isn’t cost-effective to build a team entirely from “experienced” talent in a rapidly-growing industry that lacks supply of qualified personnel. Plus, new people bring new ideas and fresh perspectives! (Then again, that might take all the fun out of bemoaning the industry’s lack of innovation. I can’t imagine going one week without reading another five articles on the subject…) Anyway, no surprise that Bioware was one of the few game companies attending the MIT career fair this year.