We’re always delighted to hear from new companies working in and around the games sector here in Scotland. We’re pretty well in terms of developers. At the last count – and with another couple still to be added to the site, we have 86 development studios in the country.
Today’s Introducing is different. We were contacted a couple of weeks ago by a new company, which has nothing to do with development, but instead, bizarrely, focuses on the players.
As the name suggests, XBL Gamerhub is a community and multiplayer hub for Xbox users. The site helps players organise gaming sessions with friends and find other players based on more than ranking and ability.
We spoke to Gavin Divers, the founder of the site about what it’s role is in today’s increasingly online focused console world and his plans for the site…
Gavin Divers: Hi I’m Gavin Divers (MANJO999), I’m the project manager and founder of XBL Gamerhub
GD: XBLG is a gaming hub for all walks of gaming life, which focuses on the social and fun of online gaming. Our core idea is that online gaming isn’t about being thrown into matchmaking games, which match you up on rank and progress through the game. Not on age or language, we feel the fun from custom gaming nights is not used to its full have a full lobby with your friends is the best experience online and we want to open gamer’s eyes to this. So we want to provide a gaming paradise which offers a platform for people to organise their own gaming whilst being immersed in all things gaming. We celebrate gaming with tournaments, competitions, video content and written content and we are a gaming community also.
SGN: What was your thinking when you started the site?
GD: We started the site four years ago as a normal everyday community site but we had the core idea of having a site that gamers can organise their own custom gaming sessions and staying away from the standard fps community that only offers a focus on shooters, we done halo 3 clip compilations and activities the community could get involved in, we were first in Google with our Call Of Duty zombie survival competition being as we were the only community that had cracked how to do a successful COD zombie competition. we had many other successful competitions, we understood pretty quick that we need to be a presence everywhere, launching the site with a viral YouTube campaign to create interest for the launching of the site, having presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube we have always understood to make things exciting with video content and all about the gaming and the enjoyment of gaming.
SGN: How’s the site doing so far?
GD: We have over 2,000 users at present, not including users who come simply to read and view our content, we can be found on most net related Xbox searches, like Xbox live social, gamerhub, xbl, xbox gaming community (2nd page), our Facebook page has 3700 followers, 1600 Twitter followers, and our YouTube channel is doing very well also at 239 subs. we have been described as a movement, we are also part of the Xbox community network
GD: We keep on going, we have so much already lined up to put into place and expand even further with what we believe a gaming community is. our web series “that Xbox show” is already doing well on our YouTube channel and we have a lot of exciting tournaments and competitions ready for the site, we keep on trying to reach to that next level and see how far we can expand what we are doing but something’s would be telling but 2013 should be a good year for XBLGamerhub
SGN: What sort of help are you receiving to take those plans forward?
GD: We are mainly doing it ourselves but throughout the years we have become a large team of individuals counting at 27 of us at present.
We get support from many advice bodies at Scottish Enterprise and various bodies throughout Scotland like Stow College is a big support
We get so much help from Graeme Boyd and the Xbox team they great and very supportive with what we are achieving.
But we get a lot of advice from people throughout the games industry.
We have a lot of support from all walks of gaming life from the 405th in America who create amazing real life Spartan armor with Stony Props and we have links with cosplayers in the UK and you tubers from throughout the world. We have a lot of affiliates:
- …and others
SGN: What games, trends or topics are you picking up from your users that might benefit developers in 2013?
GD: Gamers like to express themselves with their gaming, like capturing gameplay with capture cards or screen shots, also having map editors to think outside the gaming box and create some magic.
I see more F2P games coming out on Xbox like happy wars! There is a market to be had there. I still see Kinect being a resource that hasn’t really been used to its fill capabilities there’s still a couple of ground breaking games to be made
SGN: What are the most popular games on the site at the moment?
GD - Call of Duty games, Halo games and Battlefield 3 all your main shooters are still the staple of gaming that we see most but Minecraft is still amazingly popular. Fifa and Forza also.
SGN: Have you had any contact with or feedback from Microsoft about the site?
GD: Not yet to be honest. I love to speak to them about our ideas but I don’t even know if we have been on there radar. Graeme Boyd and the Xbox Social Marketing Media team are really helpful.
SGN: What game are you most looking forward to in 2013?
GD: It’s either Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite
You can find XBL Gamer Hub online. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They’re also now irrevocably and entirely listed on the compendium of ultimate awesome which is the Scottish Games Network Company Directory…