It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we are sunsetting LFG Directory on July 31, 2020.
Since it was launched in November of 2018, this project has been a labor of love, and we had a very full roadmap of new features that were in the works. It was born out of our own frustrations with online gaming platforms that focused on VTT rather than campaign logistics, and world-building wikis instead of an organized way to schedule sessions, track attendance, and keep notes.
Why it’s happening
We never reached the number of users we were hoping for, which made it difficult to produce enough active games for users. We stand by our assessment that games work best within given existing communities, with privacy by default as a key element. Ultimately there is a simple flaw: there are always more players than GMs, and GMs as a result tend to be completely booked to begin with. As a result, a GM with access to a community can almost always gather players in an ad hoc manner, but a group of players trying to find a GM will be better off having one of them try to GM for the first time rather than find a GM willing to take on a new group.
This issue is one we quickly realized after launching, and as a result the majority of our development has been focused on GM tools to help manage campaigns and one-shots. To be honest we’re the ones who used the application the most to manage our own games. However, we never really gained the users we hoped to have. LFG has always been intended as a free service for gamers and GMs, but over the last year, we’ve only reached a count of 166 gamers, and of those only a handful were actually running games. If we had lots of happy GMs and players actively using the service, we would gleefully keep running, but the application, built for autoscaling with demand, is still complex to maintain, and costs approximately $160/mo in AWS fees. And unfortunately, with so few active games, we can no longer justify the expense.
What you should do
You can use our existing export features to make a backup of your data. You can see instructions on how to do this here. You can continue to use all the features of LFG Directory in the meantime, and export your data at any time. However, make sure you complete your export before the sunset date. On July 31, 2020, at 23:59 Eastern time, the LFG app will go offline. At that point, it will no longer be able to log in or export your data.
We will retain our data after that point for a maximum of a calendar month before we fully purge the databases, completely removing all user provided data from our records and backups.
And so, we shall diminish, and go into the West. Thank you all for playing games using our platform, and as always, we love you.