PlayStation and Discord announce new partnership – soon after rumoured Microsoft buyout talks end

Sony and Discord have announced a new partnership. With the companies working more closely with an eye to launching integrated services from the beginning of next year.

The exact nature of the collaboration isn’t clear, but Jim Ryan said: “Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year, allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together.”

That seems to suggest that players will be able to easily use Discord to communicate, while playing games on PlayStation, and hopefully that would include cross-platform titles. Discord already has (since 2018) had limited integration on Xbox, such as showing your Discord friends what games you’re playing, but stops short of allowing Discord voice chat on the console.

The news, intriguingly, comes soon after it was reported that Microsoft had made a $12bn bid for the company. Discord is now apparently looking to a possible IPO as a long-term strategy, with Bloomberg saying some companies value Discord as high as $18bn.

Even given the recent spree of high-value acquisitions in the games space, where Discord is best known, such a valuation would eclipse Microsoft’s recent Bethesda buyout, and the tech giant (or other potential buyers) would need to see huge potential in a company which had revenues of $130m in 2020 from its 140m monthly users.

As part of the deal, Sony has taken a minority stake in Discord’s latest Series H funding round. Although that’s unlikely to be a major issue, if the big tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon) decide that Discord is worth adding to their stables at the currently discussed prices. (With Sony’s $2.3bn for EMI being its largest deal in the last decade, we can’t see it stumping up the money for Discord.)

“From our very first conversation with co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, I was inspired by their lifelong love for gaming and our teams’ shared passion to help bring friends and communities together in new ways. Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do, so we are beyond excited to start this journey with one of the world’s most popular communication services,” added Ryan in a blog post.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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