Do Game Developers Need To Be On Facebook And Twitter?

Insomniac Games boss Ted Price recently confessed he'd been ignoring the world of Internet "community" that he'd been proselytizing as the future of gaming. Apology necessary?

Over at the official website for the creators of this week's Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time (aka the place I go to watch my Ratchet scores slide down the chart), the man running things admitted to only recently signing up for Facebook. And he still isn't ready to Tweet.

Here he is, explaining himself on his company's website:

Recently I've been feeling like a big hypocrite. Since Resistance: Fall of Man I've been extolling the virtues of the community features in our games. And a few weeks ago I mentioned in an interview that I think that community represents a hidden arms race in our industry.

But I have to come clean. I haven't actually been part of the community. I haven't been on Facebook until lately. I don't Tweet. I don't have a MySpace account. And I only post on forums occasionally. What's wrong with me? Haven't I heard that being part of the "community" is freaking awesome? How can I promote community if I'm an outsider?

Some might consider posting on Internet forums plenty of community right there. But Price runs a company that is releasing a game this week that has the word "Community" as one of its main menu options. And, hey, developers, gamers, reporters, PR people are on these networks. Is it essential to be connected in this way? Would there be something archaic about a person professionally involved in gaming shunning social networks, as if it was as essential to keeping up with things as, I don't know, reading a book, using a phone or trying Guitar Hero at least once?

I've seen developers join Twitter and then leave it. I've had gamers ask to be my friend on Facebook or argue with me on an Internet forum. Public relations folks and game creators alike use social networking tools to get the word out and sometimes to make gaffes in whole new ways.

In Price's case, the question is whether the head of a development studio has anything to be sorry for if he's not part of Internet "community." Do you demand the people making the games you play indulge in such things?

Social Media & Me: A Confession [InsomnicaGames.com]