Sony has announced that it will be ending support for the Communities feature on PS4. The company confirmed that Communities will no longer be available from April, and it seems the intent is to get people to use the messaging and PS app instead to communicate with others. Sony released a statement that you can read below.
“Thank you for using the Communities feature on your PlayStation®4 console. Beginning in April 2021, this feature will no longer be supported or available on your PS4™ console.
However, you will still be able to stay connected and enjoy messaging features and more on your PS4™ console and PlayStation®App.”
Having debuted in 2015, there are thousands of communities in the PS4 ecosystem, with a mixture of official communities and fan-created groups, and varying levels of activity depending on the game. It seems Sony has weighed up the benefits of keeping communities running and decided they just are not worth maintaining long term.
The writing has been on the wall for Communities since last year and this is not the first move Sony has made against the Communities feature. Last March, the company removed the Communities app from iOS and Android stores seemingly due to a lack of regular active users, and the PS5 did not launch with Communities either. The PS5 launch and the new PlayStation App that Sony created for iOS and Android saw the company refocus their social efforts with changes to the way that party chats work and friends and chats now grouped together in Game Base on the PS5 system software. There’s no direct replacement to the function that Communities offers at this time.
The date of this removal may coincide with the release of system update 8.5, with one of the elements of that being the removal of Communities. The update is focused mainly on slight changes such as requesting being able to join a game session, allowing the host to send an invite, and not showing others what games you’re playing if you’ve hidden that game.