PlayStation and Discord Are Teaming Up

PlayStation and Discord Are Teaming Up
Discord's new partnership with PlayStation could help it become the chat app for every platform. (Photo: Florence Ion/Gizmodo)

Discord, the gamer-focused chat app that’s been in the news a bit more than usual recently, has partnered with Sony’s PlayStation. Details are scarce, but the statement put out by Sony promises to bring “the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile” beginning next year.

In a blog post, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan revealed the two companies are “hard at work” connecting Discord with the PlayStation Network. The writing on the wall appears to be a full-fledged Discord experience baked into PlayStation consoles, or perhaps a Discord experience tailored to the console, so it’s easier to chat with folks in the app. PlayStation gamers usually have to deal with a whole dance of cables between a computer and the console to use Discord.

Ryan also said that Sony made a “minority investment” in Discord as part of its Series H funding, citing inspiration from both teams’ “shared passion to help bring friends and communities together in new ways.” The news comes hot on the heels of Discord reportedly turning down acquisition offers, including one from Microsoft.

The latest cash influx from Sony might help explain some of the motives behind Discord’s since-rescinded move to ban access to NSFW channels from the iOS app. The overarching consensus was that the company was reeling in some of its “wild west” tendencies to curry favour from outside investors. It’s not clear how much Sony invested in Discord, but the company has raised nearly $US480 ($619) million in funding.

For its part, Discord continues as one of the reigning all-encompassing chat apps for gamers, along with a few other competitors like Mumble, Element, and TeamSpeak. New Discord features like Stage Channels, which allows Discord users to manage a voice broadcast with up to 1,000 attendants, suggest the company is setting its sights outside the gaming realm, or at least in a capacity where it’s considered alongside other massive community-based platforms like Twitch.

Though it said no to Microsoft’s offer to fold it into its gaming ecosystem, Discord has the upper hand once it launches a full-fledged PlayStation app. Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players have access to a Discord app for their platform, but it’s limited to status changes and inviting friends to play along. A full-featured PlayStation app might spur Microsoft to offer Discord in full on the platform, especially since it’s already on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and even Linux.