While over at the Epic forums, I had the chance to talk briefly with the new community manager for Gears of War. Here is the Q and A:
* Please tell us your full name and current job title
My name is Justin Korthof, and I’m Community Manager for Gears of War at Microsoft Game Studios.
* How long have you been doing community work for the games industry?
I’ve been involved in online community in one form or another for more than half of my life. I’ve been having a blast doing community for the games industry specifically for about two and a half years now, and have had the pleasure of working on several different types of games (mostly shooters) on nearly every major platform out there.
* What are your current plans to make sure everyone has an exciting time waiting for Gears of War 2 to ship this fall? What type of experience can the fans expect from you and Microsoft when it comes to keeping the community updated and involved in the Gears of War universe?
Keeping people excited isn’t going the be a problem. Everywhere I’ve been looking lately I see people – gamers and non-gamers alike – who are really excited about this game. What I’m focused on right now is making the experience of being a Gears fan as rich as it can be. That means that I’ll be doing a lot of different things, starting with gearsofwar.com.
Our web team has already developed a great new website, and we’re working hard every day to add several new features to the site that will make it an even cooler experience for fans. One of those features is the new Community Update that will be starting during PAX. We’ve already been doing some small weekly updates on the website since E3. In response to fan requests, I’m going to be enhancing that feature a lot. There’s still a ton of planning going on for those updates, but we’re exploring all of the stuff that Gearheads have been requesting – developer diaries, exclusive looks at art and screenshots, community Q&A’s. You’ll have to keep checking the site to see what goodies we come up with, though.
Add to all of that some amazing stuff that marketing has in the works to support the launch, and I think it’s going to be a really exciting couple of months. But it’s not going to stop there. I can’t say too much yet about what comes after launch, but it’s worth mentioning that community support won’t stop on November 7th. I’m looking forward to playing with you guys online, and… well, I should probably stop there for now.
* How often will you be in contact with Epic and relaying the information you are allowed to share with us? ( Daily, Weekly, Bi monthly, or monthly)
I’ve already gone down to visit the guys at Epic, and I keep regular contact with them as well. They’ve been extremely supportive of everything, and have thrown in a ton of great community support ideas. We’re all working very hard to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and to make sure that you guys are getting the most thorough and up-to-date information about the upcoming game and the entire Gears of War universe.