Sony and Discord have announced a partnership that will integrate the popular game-focused chat app with PlayStation’s built-in social tools. It’s a big move and quite surprising given the recent wait in acquisition negotiations – Sony appears to have come up with a better deal than Microsoft, taking an undisclosed minority stake in the company ahead of an alleged IPO.
The exact nature of the partnership is not expressed in the brief announcement message. The closest to what’s going to happen is that the two companies plan to “bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences on console and mobile closer together starting early next year,” which is at least pretty easy to imagine.
Discord has already partnered with console platforms, although its deal with Microsoft hasn’t been a particularly deep integration. It’s almost certainly more than just “friends can see what you play on PS5” and more than “it’s an alternative chat infrastructure for anyone on a Sony system.” Chances are it’s a deep, system-wide but clearly Discord-branded option – such as the ‘Start Voice Chat with Discord’ option when you invite a friend to your game or join theirs. .
The early 2022 timeline also suggests that this is a major product change, likely coinciding with a big platform update on Sony’s long-term PS5 roadmap.
While the new PlayStation is better than the old one when it comes to voice chat, the old one wasn’t great to begin with, and Discord isn’t just easier to use, but millions of gamers already. do use daily. And these days, if a game isn’t exclusive, being solidly cross-platform is the next best option – so PS5 gamers can seamlessly join and chat with PC gamers will reduce a point of pain there.
Of course, Microsoft has its own advantages, running both the Xbox and Windows ecosystems, but it has tried several times to grope for this opportunity and the acquisition of Discord might have been the missing piece that tied it all together. That bird has flown, of course, and while Microsoft’s acquisition talks have reportedly valued Discord at around $ 10 billion, it looks like the growing chat app has decided it prefers to fly for free with an intro. on the stock exchange and attempt to become the dominant voice platform everywhere rather than becoming a prized animal voice platform.
Sony has done its part, financially speaking, by participating in Discord’s recent $ 100 million Round H. The amount they contributed is unknown, but it may not necessarily be more than a small minority stake given the amount the company took and its total valuation.