As reported by Siliconera, Sony announced the discontinuation in an email sent to PlayStation 4 owners this weekend, stating that Communities will shut down in April 2021.
The feature’s removal was previously flagged by private invites for PS4’s beta update 8.50, within which Communities was missing, according to users.
Released in September 2015 as part of PS4 system software 3.00, Communities also includes a message board and the ability to join parties and games.
Communities are on-console groups where players can join together with others who have similar interests. Within a Community, players can post messages, form parties and jump into game sessions.
PS4’s 8.00 system update removed the ability to create private Communities last year, although existing ones could still be accessed.
Sony’s newer PlayStation 5 console incorporates most of these features into its own social suite, which includes game hubs with community content, the Game Base group spaces and more.
“Thank you for using the PS Communities feature on your PS4 console. Beginning in April 2021, this feature will no longer be supported or available on your PS4 console,” Sony said in a statement.
“However, you’ll still be able to stay connected and enjoy messaging features and more on your PS4 and the PlayStation App.”
PS4’s 8.00 system update, which launched in October 2020, also included changes to Party and Messages features, parental controls and more.
Its release didn’t go smoothly, resulting in several issues, with #PS4UPDATE even trending on Twitter as players voiced privacy concerns related to Sony’s ability to access voice and message data.