Mark Jacob said that here
He said a lot more but that's the bit that really intrigues me.
Mythic chose to let the community take care of an "official" forum and not support one, something Tabula Rasa also did. I'm quoting Jacobs :
So in short, he's saying official forums are just a place where people can bash a Community manager for no apparent reason and that an online community can be a T-Rex. And that we eat sheeps....
“What is accountability?” Mark asked. “Is accountability the fact that you can get a community manager who has nothing to do with the game development (not saying Mythic but at a lot of companies the CM has nothing to do with the game other than being community managers)… to go on the forums and have abuse heaped on him? That’s not accountability. That’s like putting out a goat for the Tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park. Accountability is when the players vote with their credit card. That’s accountability. If they players feel we aren’t doing our job, they should cancel. I’ve always said that. We are accountable that way.”
“In terms of reaching out to the community,” he continued, “nobody in this industry does it better than us. Not on the large scale. I can’t talk about the smaller games, but if you look at EverQuest and WoW and LotRO or any of those games, we spend more time reaching out to the community than any other development team. I’m on the boards, other people are on the boards and we will continue to be going forward. We are accountable that way, but we’re more accountable to the players by their use of their credit cards. If they don’t like the job we’re doing, they should cancel. That’s the best way to send any developer a message.”
He rounded out the answer by saying that, “If people think that accountability is just their need to vent their spleen at some community manager, that’s not accountability. That’s just people heaping abuse on somebody in order to feel better.”
So what do you think? Should an online game come with its official forum all the time? Is is useful? Should the community be responsible for a forum and what happens on it?
For my part i don't know. I think i need to put a bit of time thinking about that. There IS a lot of whining on official boards, especially MMOs but its not ALL whining, right?