Online video games live and die with their communities, and no matter how good the game is, if it doesn't have a strong community, it will simply fade into irrelevance.
Twitch streamers are well aware just how important communities are, given that their profession requires a strong community as well, and Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, as one of the biggest streamers on Twitch, doesn't understand why game developers and publishes don't utilize the power of their communities.
During one of his recent streams, he was talking about the Cayo Perico Heist update for GTA Online, how he thinks that it's great that Rockstar is still updating the game, but for him, the game simply isn't "his style" and that's the reason why he doesn't play GTA Online, although he is excited for GTA VI.
"I would love to see GTA 6 actually care about the modding community and work together," Shroud says."You know, on a united front and kind of make some dope ass sh*t together. I doubt it will happen but I think that would be big if the next GTA truly cared about the community."
Shroud thinks that the biggest barrier for this kind of cooperation is simply that companies don't see profit in investing time and resources into modding communities and they don't know how to monetize that.
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Bethesda, whose games are famous for their endless modding possibilities, tried to monetize that fact with the infamous Creation Club, which offers people who create content for their games a platform where they can earn money for the stuff they create, but the project was mostly boycotted by the community.
Shroud mentions the popularity of ARK: Survival Evolved and DayZ as prime examples of games driven by the community.
"It is really crazy how popular Arc is, it has like 50 to 100 thousand people playing every day on average for so fu**ing long. Community, it's all just, like, community, just like DayZ. The reason why DayZ is still relevant is just because community."
For him, it's baffling that AAA studios and publishers don't capitalize on this and fully engage with their community.
"I think that would be the best game of all time. If it was just a high-end studio that was really close and tied with their community, constantly listening to their feedback, working together on everything."
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Shroud is absolutely right here, developers need to listen to their communities more and to understand what players want and what they enjoy with their games. The communication from both sides is crucial for a game to thrive and for the community to grow.
Hopefully, developers will have more open communication with their communities in the future and even include them in some elements of the game's development.