Gearbox closes its forums and moves to Discord

Gearbox announced that he would be closure of its forums, and instead referred users to the Discord community for the publisher and its titles. Needless to say, not many people are happy with it, myself included.

In an announcement posted directly to the forums, Gearbox explains that its forums will become read-only from July 19, 2022, for 30 days. After this time, the forums will be completely deleted.

Instead, Gearbox said users should research a new Gearbox website, report concerns to its support team, and refer existing users to its Discord community.

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Not to sound like a broken record, but Discord isn’t a suitable replacement for forums. Admittedly, Discord is a fantastic tool for voice calls and real-time conversations on topics of interest, usually in classified channels. However, the functionality of Discord compared to that of a forum is very different.

For example, while Discord tried to introduce “threads”, they weren’t successful. These are about as similar to threads as you’d get in the communication service, but they still don’t compare to what forum users expect from the functionality of purpose-built discussion forums.

Discord being the private platform that it is, you won’t find user discussions with a Google search either. In fact, you’re not guaranteed to find what you need even when you search Discord chats. Forums are an easily accessible footprint on the web: communities come together to discuss points of interest or solve problems, and months or years later someone like me can google that query and get my answer – without having to browse Discord messages. or join a new server.

Also, the fact that many people just don’t want to join a Discord server for community engagement is overlooked. We live in a climate where notifications are overwhelming, and some people don’t necessarily want to engage in those real-time conversations; they may just want their question answered and play their game. Forums do a much better job of preserving those important answers and discussions.

That said, Gearbox already has the cogs turning on this one. So be sure to check out the forums and back up anything you want to keep before they are gone forever.

Forums are by no means perfect. However, they are of great help to many, and Discord is not a suitable substitute for them. Hopefully more companies will focus on preserving forums and finding more suitable replacements for them if needed.

Harry L. Blanchard