Sony Group Corp. has invested in Discord and aims to get the popular social app onto PlayStations early next year, potentially connecting more than 140 million gamers to its growing console ecosystem.
The new partnership could enhance the PlayStation’s appeal for a generation of users who use Discord to chat via video or text. Sony Interactive Entertainment will make an undisclosed minority investment in the U.S. app’s Series H round, it said in a brief blog post. Its goal is to connect the Discord and PlayStation worlds on both console and mobile, letting gamers interact more easily during play.
“Our teams are already hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network,” Jim Ryan, president of the Sony unit, said in the post. “We’ll have more to share in the coming months.”
Sony, which launched its latest Playstation in November, is looking for an edge against rival consoles like Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Nintendo Co.’s Switch. San Francisco-based Discord, which rose to popularity alongside smash hits like Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite., is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice and text.
People stuck at home during the pandemic also increasingly used its technology for study groups, dance classes, book clubs and other virtual gatherings. Discord has said that it had 140 million monthly active users in December, up from 100 million in June 2020.
It’s said to have rejected a $12 billion takeover from Microsoft, while fielding investment or takeover interest from the likes of Twitter Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. that valued Discord at as much as $15 billion to $18 billion, Bloomberg News has reported. The startup is now said to be focused on a potential public listing in the long term.