SWTOR Forums “Off Topic” Section Gone Forever

On April 22 the “Off Topic” forum was closed at Star Wars: The Old Republic. While some might not consider this breaking news, there are others who beg to differ. Some forum regulars are in a huff over the takedown of their Off Topic forums; even going so far as to threaten to unsubscribe.
The official notice of the closure of the forum states:

Hello Everyone! As of today, it is no longer possible to create posts in the Off-Topic forum. We know some of you may want to preserve old discussions or posts, so the forum will be viewable until 4/22. After this date, the Off-Topic forum will no longer be available.Post all discussion about this topic in this thread. Please remember to follow the rules when posting about this subject! Thank you!

As you might imagine, it didn’t take long before posts of complaints over the decision would crop up. The discussion thread on this topic has already been split in two with the first thread hitting 175 pages.
User EzzeJenkins says, “This is ridiculous and horrendous at the same time.” He goes on to explain, “You are tearing a community apart, a community that comes to this website, sees this game and chats with friends, friends that they will most likely meet in-game when they buy this game. I can understand making the forums accessible to subscribers only WHEN THE GAME COMES OUT. But right now there is no game to subscribe to, the CM’s should let people have their fun to chat about what they want(within the rules of the ToS)…”
So what do you think? Are people overacting or was it really a mistake to shut down the Off Topic forums? Is it really going to cost them potential subscribers? Will people shy away from the game just because there is no longer an Off Topic forum for SWTOR or do most people not really care?
Here, we welcome your comments- no matter how “off topic” they may be!