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Sony takes aim at gamers with Discord stake

PlayStation and US chat service to come 'closer together' from early 2022

A person tries on Sony's PlayStation VR headset. The company hopes to strengthen the sense of community among users by integrating the Discord chat service into the PlayStation ecosystem.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Sony Group has bought into Discord, an American chat platform popular with gamers, aiming to integrate it into the Japanese electronics company's PlayStation ecosystem.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced the minority investment of an undisclosed sum as part of Discord's Series H funding round. Discord said in December that it had raised "an additional $100 million in funding to help make Discord even better," without specifying from whom.

The PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 already offer chat via the PlayStation Network online service. "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," SIE said in a blog post on the new partnership.

With the tie-up, Sony is expected to improve voice chat functions in the PlayStation ecosystem and let gamers talk to peers who use computers and other gaming devices.

Discord offers text, voice and video chat, drawing roughly 140 million users a month. Some companies have adopted it for remote workers.

Microsoft was in talks to acquire Discord for at least $10 billion before they were called off, according to news reports.

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