My name is Sammie Kang and I’m the Communications Manager for PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Today I will be looking back on our time at TwitchCon 2016!
Our booth was set up before we arrived in San Diego. The 14-hour flight was dreadful but seeing our backdrop with livestream screenshots from the last alpha test helped us recover quite quickly. We made this backdrop to give credit to the streamers who helped us in raising awareness of our game throughout the 1st alpha test. While we were making the gameplay video for our booth, our Marketing Creative Director Curtis came up with this idea and we all loved it. Unfortunately, we were not able to put everyone in the picture due to size constraints. We reached out to two dozens of streamers who gave us permission to use their screenshots. I believe having familiar faces right behind us throughout TwitchCon created a very warm atmosphere.
After checking everything was all set for tomorrow, we all headed to The Official Unofficial Discord Pre-Party. That party was a blast! Hands-down the best pre-event party I’ve been too. One of our admins for the tester community joined us and we mostly reconnected with the streamers we had met at PAX West. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know what to expect the next day. It was our first TwitchCon after all. Later on, we ran into some streamers who have supported Battle Royale game modes since the beginning and spent some time together. One thing you realize after attending a gaming convention is that you have to attend these events to actually feel the passion and dedication of the gaming community.
TwitchCon 2016 was our first time running a booth and our entire team was very excited to meet and welcome players from all over the world. The main floor was restricted to industry, partner and media badge holders until 2pm so it wasn’t too crazy. We had a plenty of time to explain our approach and development progress to partner streamers. Some of them were new to Battle Royale so we used the gameplay video we prepared to help them understand the core gameplay. We started giving out the 2nd alpha test key cards to anyone who walked into our booth. It was a unique experience for us to see so many faces light up when they were given the cards.
Later that day, we invited 22 fans and streamers for dinner and some drinks. There were guys who have supported PLAYERUNKNOWN from the start and who have played ARMA3 Battle Royale for years. There were some who knew PLAYERUNKNOWN from H1Z1’s Battle Royale mode. There was not a single moment of silence. From streaming know-how to how to grab more chicken dinners, different topics were discussed and it seemed like no one wanted the night to end.
We went to the Hard Rock Hotel bar afterwards and met some more streamers. What was amazing to me was that I was being introduced to a new streamer by another streamer every 10 minutes. It felt like everyone was part of this big Twitch family and I was meeting the family members one by one. It was delightful experience! I got a warm welcome from every single one of them which is why I will never forget this year’s TwitchCon. We started talking about how we want to work with them for our next alpha test and the discussion almost always ended with a note about their community. They all had great interest in growing and nurturing their communities which has inspired us in many aspects.
We were a little bit hungover from hanging out with so many streamers at the bar. But you know the protocol: a lot of coffee and some energy drinks. On Day 2, more people started coming in and it was more hectic than the first day. We saw the key cards flying off the shelves. We talked a lot about how we want to find the next PLAYERUNKNOWN by offering a modding platform where anyone will be able to download the kit and create their own mods. PLAYERUNKNOWN was a modder himself when he created the very first Battle Royale game mode in ARMA2. He wants all our players to have the opportunity and resources to create a mod that other people want to play. Many streamers were beyond stoked to hear this and started talking about their own Battle Royale ideas.
After handing out more than a thousand keys, it was time to close the booth and head to the TwitchCon party. Many of the friends we made the night before were already there. When T-pain started his set, the whole venue blew up. Afterwards we went to the Hard Rock Hotel bar again to meet more of our friends, both old and new, and it was a great place to end a great night!
Although it was our 3rd day, we were not as exhausted as we thought we would be. We were getting so much positive energy from all the streamers and their support. We had to leave three hours early before the closing time due to our flight schedule. As soon as we started packing, we were already missing TwitchCon and we still do. There will never be an occasion like that again this year where we will meet the nicest, friendliest people on earth who can’t live a day without games. It was not only a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our game and tell our story but also a perfect time to help us understand what kind of experience streamers want from our game.
There were so many players and streamers who told us they couldn’t wait to play and livestream our game in November. We are blessed to have such a great community of streamers supporting our game. But that alone will not be enough. We have to make a great game that they will enjoy playing and streaming. There’s only about four weeks until the next alpha test so we better get back to work!
Finally, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who we got to meet at TwitchCon and those who supported us on Twitter. After getting some rest, we are now hard at work preparing for the next alpha test. I hope to see every single one of you in-game soon!