Nintendo of America has closed its official forums, NSider. In a statement on the site, the move is described as an ´indefinite´ closure:
Nintendo is working on a major overhaul to Nintendo.com to support the continued success of Nintendo DS and Wii. As we prepare for this huge site update, Nintendo must unfortunately close the Nintendo NSider Forums message boards indefinitely beginning Sept. 17, 2007. (...)
While their future remains uncertain, (...) remember also that the unique features available with Nintendo DS and Wii give Nintendo the opportunity to communicate directly with fans, while also enabling fans and friends around the world to communicate with each other. (...)
Starting Sept. 17, existing NSider Forums will be available in Read Only format for one week. Private Messages will be disabled. On Monday, Sept. 24, the forums will be removed from public view.
In a mail sent to all NSider members with at least Sage status, which I received in July 2006, Nintendo of America added:
The Nintendo NSider Forums have been indefinitely closed. (...) We know that this may come as disappointing news to you, but we want you to know that we sincerely appreciate the contribution you've made to the community. The Nintendo NSider Forums would not have been the same without great contributions from Sages like you. Even though the forums have closed, we still value your opinion and care about what you think.
We have created an online survey exclusively for Sages to get your feedback on the Nintendo NSider Forums.
In the survey, I wrote the following commentary:
The NSider forums were always maintained in a spirit of ´laissez faire´ and I welcomed that. While reasonable but critical posts (mine included) are regularly deleted over at the Sony PlayStation forums, NSider allowed a high degree of criticism, even obvious trolling and flaming. Overall, I believe that the forums were self-regulating, with so many reasonable posters, Sages and Knights of Hyrule keeping stupidity and ulterior motives at bay.
I would have wanted a system like NeoGAF, though, where thread-posting rights are a hard-earned luxury and are often and easily revoked. I am shocked to see NSider closing shop and can only hope that this great community is only closed temporarily. With Nintendo´s tremendous success, gamers need a free and open platform like this one.
EDIT In fact, the Nintendo of Europe forums are also down. There is only talk of a ´temporary´ downtime, however, and technical difficulties are given as a reason.
We have temporarily suspended the community forums as we're resolving a security issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
Thanks to: TSA, Fatnickc