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Rising from the ashes of a failed MOBA, game chat app Discord nets $20M

Rising from the ashes of a failed MOBA, game chat app Discord nets $20M

January 26, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

The makers of cross-platform video game voice chat app Discord announced today that they've raised roughly $20 million from Greylock Partners, Tencent and other investors.

That money will presumably go to improving what Discord is now: a voice and text chat client capable of running in either a browser or its own mobile apps, marketed primarily to competitive game players concerned about the latency and security of their external chat clients. But what's more interesting, from a developer's perspective, is where Discord came from: the failed mobile game Fates Forever.

Developer Hammer & Chisel previously raised $8.2 million in 2013 to develop the free-to-play MOBA, which debuted in 2014 and was later quietly shut down due to lackluster performance.

However, during the game's development members of the studio saw demand for a robust voice/text chat client among mobile game players. They began experimenting with solutions, eventually hitting on what became the studio's next project: Discord.

"What was basically a skunkworks project appears to be the most promising product we’ve built," Hammer & Chisel founder Jason Citron told GamesBeat in September.

Citron and his team began rolling out Discord across PC and mobile platforms last year and have since seen significant uptake thanks in part, they claim, to its early popularity among Final Fantasy XIV players.

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