Thanks for all of the replies.
Appreciate I’m a stranger around these parts so apologies for the odd introduction. And sorry my first post is such a downer.
I’m ReedPop’s technical director and my department is responsible for the design, build, and maintenance of websites like RPS, Eurogamer, VG247, GamesIndustry.biz, etc. I’ve worked at Eurogamer / Gamer Network / ReedPop since 2006 but am largely behind the scenes on RPS.
Here are my thoughts on some of the things raised here:
The decision largely comes down to resources. We are a fairly small team considering the size and number of websites we look after and we only have so many hours in the day for projects. It’s not fair to give people access to a forum and then neglect it. It is also a pretty big security risk for us when we have things like third party forum software running on our servers but we can’t then dedicate resources to keeping that software security patched, etc.
To put the decision into perspective we have millions of people using the main RPS site each month, but a few hundred people are looking at the forum. Knowing that fact makes it hard to justify giving resources to smaller projects. We want to serve and impact the most number of people. It’s not fun to be turned into just a statistic, but the difference in scales between sites and systems is still true.
Sadly we’re not able to give anyone a dump of the forum data. We’d be in big trouble if we handed over all of the account details containing email addresses etc to a third party without consent.
We’re not archiving the forum as it means my team would still have to spend time on uptime of the archive, doing security patches, etc. It’s the same as keeping the forum running and not feasible.
You are all right about Discord etc being a bit naff. I agree. I come from the age of forums but it’s the best replacement we can offer.
I can’t officially vouch for it but the forumites from Eurogamer are in the same position and they’ve set up an alternative forum – see https://fontgeek.io/
It might be a bit of a culture clash but there are some great people over there.
Hope this insight is a bit more useful. I understand you may all be quite angry, and all I can say about that is sorry.