The Total War Steam Community Was 'Awful' Until The Devs Brought In A Moderator

According to developer Creative Assembly’s Grace Carroll, the Total War series’ Steam community was, until very recently, a mess. Largely left to their own devices, forums became “toxic” and “an awful place to be”. Instead of letting the trash fire burn, though, the developer decided to dedicate resources to putting it out.

Speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton, England today — as detailed by GamesIndustry.biz in an in-depth post — Carroll explained that the developer had let things on Steam get “highly toxic”.

And given Valve’s largely hands-off approach to, well, everything, that can lead to some serious nastiness.

“If you have a toxic audience, it’s going to stay that way, because the nice people are going to leave,” Carroll said.

So the studio gave a new employee the task of cleaning up the Total War Steam community. This helped change the users’ behaviour, she said.

“Just having that visible presence of moderation, knowing that someone was deleting threads and banning people, turned it around in about a week,” she said. “People start to self-moderate. They tell each other off. They start reporting things.”

Suddenly, there were consequences to people’s actions. They weren’t hollering into a void any more when they were angrily making demands of developers, either. People started apologising for their mean comments.

At this point, the community is still by no means perfect. Carroll said that divisive and dissenting topics pop up, and trolls still exist. But those issues are systematically and consistently managed now.


Comments

    yeah theres a massive difference between the steam forums and reddit pages, not just for Total War, but many games in general because you see the devs post more often in the related game threads. Hell the WoW subreddit is way less toxic than offical forums

    I feel like this was an issue that was solved back when forums were the big thing. Moderators on fan forums tended to be harsh and kept the toxic people out of the community.

    "divisive and dissenting topics"
    Sounds like heresy.

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