After a year-and-a-half of communication exclusively around the development of Heroes VII, Ubisoft have announced the closure of the Shadow Council, transferring the communication with fans to the official forums.
We here at Celestial Heavens have always encouraged the developers of M&M games to communicate directly with the fans wherever practical, and the Shadow Council was a decent attempt at doing so: it enabled the fans to vote on several aspects of the game development, although the comments section was also marred by spamming and malicious flaming. We believe the official forums will offer little in the way of direct communication, as the traffic load is way too high for the busy game developers to follow directly. They must therefore rely on a team of forum managers/moderators (as the announcement above admits) to relay the relevant info to them. This does introduce go-between and effectively severs the direct link between fans and developers, but also filters out the de-motivating "flaming" comments before they reach the devs.
Another opportunity lies in the use of fan-controlled forums such as ours, where H7 devs are known to pop by from time to time.