For our first Spotlight, let me introduce you to Christopher Honour, Community Manager of Blizzard Entertainment’s Latin American Team. During our interview, Honour gave insight into the life of a Community Manager at a highly successful gaming company, going into depth about what led him to this role, his responsibilities, and even his insights for the future of Community Management.

Growing up in Chile, he was an avid fan of videogames and classic 80s movies. Before he even knew what he wanted to do with his life, he was sure that it at least had to be related to videogames. After graduating with a Masters in International Marketing, he attended Festigame, the biggest Chilean video games convention, which was just getting started at the time. There, he met the guys of IguanaBee, who ended up hiring him for his first Community Manager job. Eventually, after many rounds of interviews, he landed a position at Blizzard Entertainment and moved to the U.S. In the words of Honour himself, this role, “allowed me to combine my love of videogames and my career interests in Marketing.” Luckily, he had focused on social media during his studies, which did not seem necessary at the time, but has proven extremely helpful during his career and allowed him to pursue his passions.

As a Community Manager at Blizzard Entertainment, Honour’s key objective is to make sure their players stay engaged in between releases of new content. If there is nothing new with the game, it is his responsibility to come up with a new and exciting project for the community, including tournaments, fanart contests, etc. One of the most important tasks to ensure success as a Community Manager is understanding gamer sentiment. This is true even “more so today than it’s ever been before,” according to Honour. The internet has opened a portal, allowing gamers to voice their opinions directly to each other as well as the game developers. It is crucial that companies are mindful of these communications and act upon the feedback correctly. In order to paint a full picture, one must gather data from all social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. However, the feedback is never simple and easy to interpret. The conversations tend to be very split, meaning that in understanding the sentiment, “you may end up taking a whole lot more time than you normally would, and counter intuitively, it’s when it matters most that you need to assess this the quickest,” as said by Honour. Community Managers have to accept the limitations of being human and know that it is impossible for them to accurately measure something as complex and subjective as gamer sentiment. It is their responsibility to only make the best approximation of the truth at that given time, and act upon it accordingly.

In the near future, Honour expects technology to get better at gathering and sorting through the necessary information to effectively manage a community. One of his main challenges as a Community Manager is having too many things to do and not nearly enough time. With the help of developing technology, his time could be freed up dramatically, and his gamer sentiment analysis more timely and accurate. However, Honour is not worried about being replaced by AI. Although technology could definitely empower and assist Community Managers, the position still requires the “soft skills” of a human.