Forums Closing: The blatant disrespect from Episode towards it's own community

Forums is closing, and no, it’s not acceptable nor is it okay. I am a big advocate and believer in this community, I’ve shown love for it in many forms (creating a community contest, offering resources for years on my old account which shall not be named, etc.) as has many other dedicated creators. It seems Episode does not share this love for their own community, or rather, their focus is on other demographics that do not include their own creators.

This is something I will not accept with open arms as it is a direct act of blatant disrespect to community members who, really, only want to help each other and express their creativity. They hear what we are saying- this community is LOUD when they have an issue. They hear us, they just don’t seem to care. Make no mistake, this is disrespect. Little to no creators are happy with this decision, and the best feedback has been “we will have to make do, I guess”. Taking away these YEARS of resources is crappy. It seems they do offer help and resources on discord. Is it the same? No. Does it erase the years of built of resources and community connections made on forums? Yes.

I love Episode. I love writing on Episode. But at some point, we have to call a spade a spade. Here’s some thoughts that have been popping in my head the past day as I think about this misguided at best, disrespectful at worst, decision.

  • Forums activity isn’t what it used to be, yes. But just because people aren’t engaging doesn’t mean they aren’t using forums for resources and directing help DAILY.

  • Discord is hidden. Forums is a very public and easy way to literally GOOGLE a question and usually you can find a forum thread with help.

  • Discord gives Episode the opportunity to silence their community more effectively. Yes, that can and has happened on forums, but already, they are slowing down the chats to where no real conversations can happen. Who wants to talk 30 min in between replies? Seriously, who does?

  • Forums threads offer so much room for creative shop designs, story promotion threads, and so much more. It’s actually perfect for that. Discord may work for that, but it isn’t ideal or suitable. Why go with the worse option?

I will probably add more thoughts as I process this, but I wanted to speak to something we are all feeling right now. Please, sign the petition linked below. I don’t know if it will make a difference, but it doesn’t hurt to try. This is Episode’s chance for a grand gesture to show their community they truly care about our wishes. Thank you guys for speaking out as much as you have, I’m right there with you.

@Nika_mod

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Thank you for putting into words what I, and I believe many of us are thinking and feeling right now.

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i agree 100%

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You’re absolutely right! It was nothing to google a question and episode forums would come right up. It’s a little sad that, that resource won’t be here any longer.

I was hoping for a little more transparency as to why. I know the general reason but I think we as a community deserve a little more reasoning behind the big decision and the direction that episode is trying to go. Some of us have been here for years and spend real money on the app because we love episode so decisions like this are a big deal.

I’m not totally opposed to discord since their decision seems to be final, but I would prefer to stay on the forums.

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Thankyou for this! Signed the petition! :heart:

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UPDATE: I created a post about this on instagram, please share it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/C7zQxQyOVDM/?img_index=1

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bump!

Hold on- I’m a discord newbie, but it looks like there is a character limit for “thread” posts? This is another huge disadvantage on discord.

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Thank you for speaking out, I feel the same way.

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I completely agree with everything you said.

This choice is incredibly disrespectful not just to the current community, but to everyone who has participated in it before. It would literally cost them nothing to just put a stop on new topics and allow the forums to exist as a resource indefinitely. What they’re doing is destroying a decades worth of institutional knowledge that everyone benefits from. And for what? So they can expose their community to more trolls, criminals, and data scrapping?

I understand branching out into new platforms to go where the people are. They’ve been bleeding users for the last few years as competition has surpassed them in many ways. At this point, this move is probably the last chance for their dying app to gain new users. Of course, those new users will abandon the app almost immediately because there are other better apps out there for reading stories.

Notice how I didn’t say better apps out there for creating stories. The protection of IP rights Episode offers is better than any other app out there. All the others (and I have checked) have poison pills in their terms and conditions designed to screw over authors and their rights. This place used to flourish because it supported community authors and treated them with respect. It listened to their concerns and worked with them to create and amazing community and back catalog.

Then they got a couple new investors/business daddies. This is when everything went to sh!t for community authors on this platform. The goal shifted from making a decent profit, to trying to maximize profits at all costs and stepping on the very people who helped build the app up to what it was in the first place. Moving the goal posts to get into the payment program, raising the required number of chapter reads for new users to gain access to community stories (ensuring they delete the app and go elsewhere), the double standard in how the guidelines are applied, drastically reducing addition of new assets, straight up ignoring our pleas for basic features to be added presumably because not enough people would use them, making it near impossible to find community stories even once you unlock them, drastically reducing the author payments (which they were legally allowed to do, but still a d!ck move), and now destroying the very knowledge community authors need to make their stories.

It’s pretty clear to me that they’re just rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic with this move. I feel like forcing everyone to go to Discord is a sly move on their part to scrape the metadata it will create and sell it to 3rd party brokers for a profit. No one is reading their problematic, money gouging stories, so they’re turning the users into the product. I’ll be very surprised if the app makes it to the new year. I expect their corporate overlords will kill it before then so the company can focus on their other micro-transaction laden game designed to exploit addictive behavior and bilk users for all they’re worth. Yay, Capitalism! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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I was takin a break from the app…but now im wondering should I even come.back…

Like…fr fr. This whole thing feels like a slap in the face.

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Okay, you ate that up.

This is all very discouraging and a sad reality. The titanic metaphor is perfect, that’s exactly how this feels. I am a perpetually optimistic person, so I have to hope that Episode will be here to stay, but your conclusions are making a lot of sense.

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I’m a perpetually pessimistic person. I try not to be all doom and gloom, I really do. But then I thought about everything else they’ve done leading up to this and who’s really in charge of the company and, yeah… doesn’t look good. To me, their actions speak louder than words.

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This. This. THIS.

I can’t remember the last time the dev team has truly considered the community. Sure, you could argue they pushed back the poorly-received animation update, but that was after everyone bombarded them with comments expressing just how badly they hated it.

They don’t ask us for input, when we’d probably be helping them out. If anything, them ignoring the community will push more people away, effectively killing the app and it once people have had enough.

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They did give us a writing contest without too many requirements.

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I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way but the contest just seems so stupid!
There’s no set theme, they are literally telling you to write a story, if I participate in a contest I want a theme that’s going to force me to come out of my little writing shell and force more creativity out of me. I feel like their just trying to make this a distraction from forums.
I’m going to stick to the DA community lead contest since it actually makes sense to me

I hope that didn’t seem like I was coming at you… Episode big bosses are just really pissing me off lately!

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True, but this new contest is only known to those keeping up with the Discord server. I don’t think they’ve said a word on their Instagram accounts or here on the forums. They’re practically excluding a large part of the community. : /

(Not intending to come off as disagreeable or pessimistic, apologies if I’ve made it seem that way!)

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EXACTLY!! I had no clue about it until someone posted a ss of it in another thread! I don’t have discord and I don’t plan on getting it so if that person wouldn’t have shared it I would have never known!

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What’s even more ridiculous about the new “official contest” other than only posting it on the Discord server is the deadline.
I hope @Sparkles04 doesn’t mind me posting their screenshot here? :face_with_peeking_eye:

Episode's Summer Contest

It’s basically only a month time… I mean, even though it has no theme, at least writers usually got still 3 months time for the past “write whatever you want” contests. To me, it seems even more sus, like it really is nothing but a distraction due to the entire forum controversy and not even a good one. :unamused:

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I don’t mind at all. I knew everyone was going to miss the contest if I didn’t put the screenshot there. I commented on the discord post just saying that 1 month isn’t long enough, and instead of agreeing with me someone responded saying “if you can’t do that…just don’t enter?”. I wanted to say “so you can plan, write, and code three episodes in a month?” But I didn’t I decided to be nice and not start an argument. If I had said that it’s not long enough here everyone would have agreed. People on discord can be a bit rude. Also I have to take my dog to the vet to get spayed on the 13th so my deadline is even sooner.

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