Sony has made a minority investment in Discord, following reports last month that the gaming chat company was weighing options for a possible buyout. Epic Games and Microsoft were among the companies that are itching for a buyout before Discord finally backed down to consider going public.
Sony president Jim Ryan said that the newly-formed partnership will result in Discord being integrated into the PlayStation Network. The move will bring a better experience for both mobile and console starting next year, allowing people and other online communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing their favorites games together.
Sony’s is a minority stake and the details of the amount haven’t been disclosed yet, but Discord may likely launch an initial public offering as early as next year. Microsoft’s offer to acquire Discord was reportedly higher than $10 billion, which is more than it paid for Bethesda. It makes sense tho, because although Discord hasn’t been that profitable, it’s the go-to platform of a huge number of gamers on PC.
A Major Change Is Coming
It’s also worth noting that its integration with the PlayStation Network won’t affect one’s current Discord PC experience. Xbox has had a small integration of its own, with users being able to link their Discord and Xbox accounts to share their friends list across all platforms. To date, the PlayStation Network going down to that path is yet to be known: Ryan hasn’t provided any further details.
This isn’t the first time Discord has partnered with console platforms, though its recent Microsoft deal wasn’t’ that of a deep integration. It’s more like a “this is an alternative gaming chat platform for anyone using Sony” and more than just a “your friends can see what you’re playing right now.” Most likely, it’ll be a system-wide integration but still a Discord-branded one – such as having a “start voice chat with Discord” option whenever you join in at a server or invite a friend.
Probably, we could already expect some major change as early as 2022, together with Sony’s big platform update.
The One That Got Away
While the newest PlayStation is way better when it comes to voice chatting, the old one wasn’t that even great to start with, and Discord isn’t just easier to use but a gaming chat app millions of gamers worldwide prefer. And these days, if it’s not an exclusive game, being able to be cross-platform can greatly compensate by reducing a pain point there.
Of course, Microsoft has its own advantages, running both Xbox and the Windows OS itself, but it has missed the opportunity to acquire Discord which might have been a huge blow for them. It’s more like referring to that one that got away. While the Microsoft acquisition is reportedly valued at roughly $10 billion, it seems that the gaming chat app would rather fly free and attempt to stay as the leading gaming chat app rather than become a prized pet.
Currently, Discord has about 140 million subscribers per month and had a $7 billion valuation in November.