Sony announced Monday that it has partnered with Discord to integrate the popular communications platform into PlayStation Network. Sony's President and CEO Jim Ryan said the companies were "already hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network." Sony and Discord aim to integrate the mobile and console communication experiences starting early next year.
Sony also unveiled in the press release that it made a minority investment in Discord as part of the company's series H funding round. Discord announced in December 2020 that it had already raised $100 million in the round. It kept the funding round open with the intention of raising an additional $40 million, which would value Discord at $7 billion, per TechCrunch.
Discord allows users to set up private servers for real-time text, voice and video-based communication. Its co-founders, Stan Vishnevskiy and Jason Citron, are gamers themselves, and launched the platform in 2015 as an alternative to Skype and Teamspeak. While Discord is still popular among gamers, it has since shifted focus to serve communities ranging from sneakerheads to gardening enthusiasts. Discord boasted over 140 million monthly active users at the end of 2020.
Discord's rapid user growth and appeal within the gaming community has made it a prime acquisition target. In late April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Discord fielded acquisition offers from at least three companies. Microsoft was one of the suitors and reportedly offered to pay $10 billion for Discord, though the deal ultimately fell through.
The Journal reported that Microsoft and Discord still left the door open for acquisitions talks to be rekindled in the future. Any such initiative may be complicated, however, with Sony taking an ownership stake in Discord and announcing the integration.