OPINION: Hi-Rez Studios on why streaming is the best way to engage with your audience

To me, what matters most has always been to make people happy; it was one the main reasons that drove me to work in the video games industry. As a child, I was passionate about video games, and I really wanted to be involved and to be able to share this experience with players around the world. 

My career choices were logical in this respect. The most important point for me was to understand what consumers want. At Hi-Rez Studios, we operate games as services, which means we need to check performance of the service every second of every day. We are constantly listening to our community in order to shape and improve our games and the overall experience. The competitive aspect of our titles makes it even more important to keep focusing on optimising the gameplay. This way, we can be sure that the balance remains just right and that the games are fun and fair.

We have a two-week update cycle for both Paladins and Smite, and our Twitch channel HiRez TV is at the heart of our communication with our players. We operate our two channels 24/7. We offer a wide variety of content there to keep our players up to speed with the changes and ideas we come up with to make our games better. Every day, my teams in Brighton and Atlanta livestream games, cast matches (grass roots or professional leagues, PC and console) or invite our dev team on the stream to discuss our upcoming game updates. All of this is done in a live context, and we are constantly listening to our players’ feedback, not only on the streams, but also on social media to make sure that we meet their expectations. We feel that livestreaming about game updates provides our audience with the information they are looking for in the most engaging format possible.

Livestreaming about game updates provides our audience with the information they are looking for in the most engaging format possible.

Véronique Lallier, Hi-Rez Studios

On our channels, we also involve our incredible community. We support these talents and bring them into the limelight. For me, this is one of the key contributions we make to our industry. It is extremely important to keep supporting passionate people so they can achieve their dreams, and provide them with the framework and the support they need to learn jobs that do not even exist in the standard school curriculum. This year we have worked on two key initiatives to help new casters develop and become more involved with Hi-Rez games. We created a competition named The Caster, through which we have been encouraging talents to join us and become active members of our team. We have also undertaken to make clean feeds available for our grassroots eSports matches so that younger talent can have a go at casting matches. Our in-house team has coached them to help their content get more traction and followers.

The industry continues to develop at a fast pace and our initiatives aiming to help people involved in specific areas related to livestreams support this growth. We want to proactively develop talent instead of realising too late that we have a skills shortage. As a side note, 40 per cent of my Brighton team started their career in the video games industry either as pro players, streamers or casters.

Véronique Lallier took her first steps in the industry at Ubisoft France in 1999. She then brought her in-depth expertise in marketing and publishing to premier games companies including Rockstar, NCSoft, Warner Bros and most recently Hi-Rez Studios (as VP European publishing) in her career spanning 15+ years

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