Borderlands developer Gearbox Software is closing its forums and migrating over to Discord. With this, the studio's older format of web-based communities is being eliminated in favor of real-time engagement provided by Discord communities, similar to other developers such as Bethesda and Activision.
On August 1, 2022, the developer's official forums -- which are currently in read-only mode -- will be shut down when a website update is rolled out. Forum users currently have 30 days to save any content they wish to keep.
"During the past year we noticed many of our community members prefer to engage on our other social platforms," wrote Gearbox. "Looking at where the conversations are taking place and feedback is expressed, we want to continue that dialog on our social channels where much of the community is getting their information."
For those who need Gearbox's customer support, it will still be available at the regular Support website. Each of Gearbox's individual games -- Borderlands, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, Homeworld, and Godfall -- have their own separate Discords for players to join.
Everything's coming up Discord, not so much social media
The news of Gearbox jumping to Discord comes just a day after Microsoft revealed that the online gaming platform's voice chat will soon be available on Xbox consoles. The feature will let Xbox users switch between Discord Voice and Xbox voice chat, and allow them to continue voice calls on the Xbox.
Last year, Sony announced it had made a minor investment in Discord and said it plans to integrate Discord into PlayStation Network and mobile. At time of writing, Discord support hasn't been rolled out to PlayStation consoles.
Over time, forums have become less popular and more game developers have become more reliant on social media platforms such as Discord and Twitter to interact with players and curate communities. Those direct lines of communication can also be abused by players, and in recent weeks developers have begun to speak out on the unacceptable levels of harassment they receive through social media.
God of War developer Sony Santa Monica put out a statement in July condemning fans for their toxic behavior, which included sending developers sexually explicit images. "Our fans inspire us," wrote Santa Monica at the time, "and we understand the passion and desire for more information. But that passion should not be toxic nor come at the expense of any human's dignity."
Earlier this week, Destiny developer Bungie sued player Luka "inkcell" Leone for both in-game cheating and harassing its employees. The studio said Leone threatened one of its community managers and joked about burning down its Seattle-based headquarters.