I want to paint a picture for you, as I want to make sure everyone understands how Topps digital is set up before going into this post.
The whole division is a very small team of guys who run the 3 Apps. Each app has its main producer, Ian runs social and other responsibilities regarding the community, and there are management personnel like TOPPSCHRIS as the Editor in Chief that oversees the whole thing. There is also a VP of Digital, which oversees a greater scope of the Topps company and its digital scene, but for the most part, Chris is on top of the general direction of the apps, with the producers handling much of the main content for each individual platform. There are other people that handle design for each game, and support for engineering and other aspects.
As a producer for Bunt/Huddle/Kick, each have a SLEW of responsibilities, that can range from high level content creation and checklist building, all the way down to day to day maintenance of the app. It is literally a 24/7 job, and in case you were wondering, all those releases during Thanksgiving came manually delivered by one of the guys running the show. Becaus such a huge portion of the apps are manually maintained, it can be a ridiculous burden on the individuals that staff these situations. They are often seen as the face of the game, and also the complaint department when things go wrong, which causes tension sometimes in the community. Again, because the team is so small, and the community is so large, priorities sometimes have to be set accordingly for the sake of the business. That means on certain occasions, the producers can look absent or not available.
I have sources close to the team that have said this hopefully is going to be on the up and up next year, thanks to a new role within Bunt. With a huge focus on providing additional hands for the team to run the app, and additional resources to be more in tune with the community aspect of each individual game, this is a huge deal. This means that the enormous dedication of time needed to run some of the less glamorous parts of the app can be split more evenly between the associate type producer and the main producer.
Although I have not confirmed who this individual will be for 2015 Bunt, I think we can all agree that this is a widely positive move by Topps to add to their ranks. The main complaints of the game focus on customer service, updates, and transparency, which can all be lost when 20-30 things need to be done in one game. This should help.
Most importantly, this article is not meant to be patronizing, as there are still major issues system wide that need attention. I wanted to make sure that you all had the opportunity to see some of the stuff behind the curtain, which I feel to be a very positive thing. TOPPSMIKE may be a controversial figure because of his position, but I know how hard he works to make Bunt the best it can be. Same goes for TOPPSMARC in Huddle and TOPPSCHARI in Kick. These guys put in some of the longest hours of any job out there, and I am sure each of them will be happy to get some extra help if the position is made available to them. They all love what they do, but im sure you can understand what new help will mean to the games.
Bottom line, I think that this move WILL NOT fix everything, in my opinion. It will not be something that will correct 100% of the issues out there, as I dont believe that is possible. However, I do think that it is becoming clear that the team is willing to invest time and resources into making each game better, and this should only be the beginning.
If the team continues to grow in the right direction, many of the nagging things that we see to be the larger problems should get fixed. When new problems arise, having additional headcount will ensure that they get addressed more quickly.
Stay tuned for more updates as the individual eventually becomes known.
I appreciate the sentiment of this post but I have a couple comments:
1) based on the revenue Bunt was producing, they should have hired multiple junior people during the season. Their customer service was abysmal.
2) if the same team is responsible for all of the games, why is the tone of Kick so much better than Bunt? Is it because Chari is better at being the face than Mike? If so, ToppsChris should figure that out.