Back in the days before online multiplayer and easily accessible internet, there weren’t very many ways to play with others outside of personal friends and family. Only Sega was brave enough to attempt online multiplayer with the Dreamcast, so online gaming wasn’t common before Microsoft released its first foray into home console gaming, the Xbox.
Around that same time, they helped push the community aspect of gaming thanks to their creation of Chapters (then eventually Groups) that allowed gamers to come together and form communities with like-minded people.
Unfortunately, that same project has officially been abandoned thanks to the growth of other community hubs such as Reddit, official forums, and unofficial fansites. This moment has been a long time coming, thanks to the gradual decline of Groups, as many players are now moving elsewhere. This decision finally came after looking at the data over the past few months, which didn’t show positive growth, or even growth at all, with only 65 groups being active over that span.
Farewell But Not Goodbye
Image via Bungie
After 23 years of service, Bungie announced the closing of Groups in their weekly community blog. This is coming off the heels of a much-requested feature, the Group Finder in-game tool, planned to release around the same time as the next expansion, The Final Shape, which is set to release on February 27, 2024. With the release of Destiny, the team has worked on many community projects to coincide with the series, and that hasn’t slowed down with the sequel’s release. Many see this as the beginning of a new chapter for the Bungie community.
The blog also commented on the soon-to-be archived community post, as they plan to set it to read-only while giving members time to save all of their past posts. They want the players to have a way to preserve their memories of the things they’ve shared while using groups. As of now, they have no concrete date for when they’ll be taking the site completely down, but they encourage players to save anything they have as soon as possible.
This is probably not the way that many users saw the site ending. It’s a great success story that groups have hung around for all this time and proves the importance of building strong communities that’ll hopefully continue with other social platforms. In the meantime, there are other sites like Reddit, community forums, and Discord where fireteams and clans can look for other players to share their adventures with.
After 22 years of support, Bungie has finally decided to pull the plug on the long-running group community.