Gearbox Ditches Community Forums For Discord

A lot of communities and companies are starting to use Discord for forums and nobody really gets why. They aren't as intuitive to navigate or built in a way that structures content in a digestible manner as it makes archiving and searching more difficult, hiding information behind servers. But Gearbox is hopping on the trend anyway.

"During the past year, we noticed many of our community members prefer to engage on our other social platforms—and that's great," Gearbox wrote on the now-closed forum (thanks, Kotaku). "We love talking to y'all and keeping the community going there… As of July 19, 2022, we will turn categories to Read-Only. This means members will no longer be able to create posts on the forums, but folks will be able to read previous posts. This will provide 30 days to save any content you want to keep before it is closed. Later this summer, you'll notice a new Gearbox website and the forums will disappear entirely."

If you're out of the loop and haven't used Discord before, it's a server system that lets you create voice and text channels to talk with other people. They're used by modding communities on big projects such as Skyblivion to both co-operate in a digital office and to share updates with fans, as well to organise gaming groups and social events. They serve a very different function to forums and are more in line with Slack or Skype.

If you search up a question you're having about a game or a topic, you'll likely find someone asking the same on a forum with commenters giving, typically, useful answers. They create recorded archives that can be found at a much later date through most search engines, while Discord requires you to join individual servers and sleuth through chat histories. It's more closed off.

But you can also find old conversations and debates among fans that vary from overpowered weapons to new speedrunning techniques to hidden Easter Eggs uncovered years after release. But Gearbox is shifting away from that archival format for something looser and less reliable.

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