If you check some other F2P games, with bigger playerbases and communities than GoW, you will notice that these games also have chat systems.
If it such a pain to code and fix and a waste of time/money and effort why it's so present in other F2P models?
Is it possible that all those developers, on other companies, failed to understand how useless an in-game chat is as well as investing in social features?
Maybe they just been using Unity from the start and the plataform is much more stable for this kind of feature. I play another game with three dedicated servers Pioneer, Global and Asian and in almost six months (the time i've playing) the chat on all servers where broken just once... That's because they are using Unity...
So, i believe social features shouldn't be discarded at all, but yes game content should take priority.
On another game i started, also a Match-3 kind of game with troops, there is no chat at all and the whole experience is quite... dry... Well, i still login and collect free stuff, play a few levels, just to increase my collection of troops, but that's all. Unlike GoW it doesn't provides me such a good experience where i'm inclined to invite friends into it, to participate in the community and more. It's not a bad game, but GoW is better specially because of it's social features doing their work as i explained before.
So, as i said, once GoW is ported into Unity things should be much more easy to accomplish. I did a quick search and Unity has a few "starting kits" with demos of games and features with open code, one including basic in-game chat, so it certainly helps to spare a few days of work...
On that i agree, but the game chat is not the best solution on communication, but still a good thing to have rather than not. So i don't think it would need much more improvement, just more stability and this shouldn't take much time.