Gamers and non-gamers alike are flocking to video games as outlets for social interaction. 61% of UK adults said they played games with friends and family to stay in touch during lockdown and 76% think online gaming is a good way to bond and make connections with people, according to a May 2021 survey from Xbox. Notably, 91% plan to continue to talk to others digitally post-pandemic to supplement in-person conversations, Xbox found. To accommodate this evolving use, major gaming companies are building in enhanced social capabilities.
Sony is making PlayStation more community-centric with the help of Discord. After reportedly rejecting Microsoft’s $12 billion bid earlier this year, Discord announced a new partnership with Sony in May 2021 to build its voice chat app into PlayStation consoles. The integration, which is scheduled for release in early 2022, will offer PlayStation users more options for in-game community engagement.