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Posts Tagged ‘GRarcade’

How to lose a community off the games radar

August 26th, 2008


Rumblings over at the popular GamesRadar site where a move by the US parent company to close down the UK forum underlined for me how fragile is the relationship between community managers and the people they are communing with.

Without, it seems, any significant discussion, the US managers decided to streamline the forums on GamesRadar, making the UK forum read-only from September 4 and offering UK users a single sign on to the wider RadarNation site community with every user having their own profile page on the site with their own avatar or picture. Users can now also post comments on GamesRadar content directly under the article itself. GamesRadar is planning further upgrades this year.

These are usually the type of improvements that users welcome with open arms but it seems that GamesRadar overlooked the simple sense of ownership that the UK forum contingent feels. Some of these guys have been on the forum for seven or more years, growing up in the place. Now they’ve been told that it’s closing – you might understand the very powerful reaction to that decision. The UK forum community has sent its very clear message to GamesRadar managers – with nearly all refusing to sign up to the new forum process and within 72 hours setting up their own community site – GRcade.

Reading the heartfelt comments made me think how quickly a trusted and loved brand can suffer serious – and long-term – damage. It took Future Publishing years to build the GamesRadar reputation, and minutes to tarnish it.

Weirdly, the GamesRadar response to the UK move has been effectively zero. I would have thought at least a brief comment to users would have been good practice. Thanks to son Nath (now a confirmed GRcade member), for helping me with this post!

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