Today, Microsoft announced a “collaboration” with the popular intercoms, gaming-focused freeware, Discord. According to the announcement made on Xbox Wire, Xbox Live users will soon be able to display what games they are playing and other information on their Discord profile.
Few other details were revealed about what this collaboration might mean, but the general focus is to “make it easier to connect and see what friends are playing across console and PC.” Those with Xbox Insider access will soon have the option to link their Xbox Live account directly to their Discord account, either through the Xbox One console or on PC.
This collaboration comes as a bit of a surprise since Microsoft owns Discord’s top competitor, Skype; a rivalry Discord prominently advertises on its website, with the phrase “Stop paying for TeamSpeak servers and hassling with Skype. Simplify your life.”
It is unclear whether Xbox and Discord will ever expand this collaboration to allow for PC and Xbox players to cross-communicate via Discord, as Xbox Live has handled all communications through its own proprietary VoIP system since its launch in 2002 on the original Xbox.
Since its beta launch in 2015, Discord has been the PC gamer’s go-to software not just for online voice communications with friends, but also with large game-centric community servers. (I personally frequent the Hearthstone Discord server, where members discuss deck strategies and meta counters, and the Celeste server, where I go to beg for help getting through the game’s unrelenting B-side levels.) You can download Discord for free here.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Joe DeClara’s articles, Hearthstone Director Ben Brode Leaves Blizzard to “Start a New Company” and Valve Acquires Firewatch and In the Valley of Gods Developer, Campo Santo.
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