Discord swoons gamers with speed and security
Well appreciated for its speed, security, and stand-alone nature, Discord (messaging app) was the unlikely product of a mobile game that never quite took off. Spun off from a mobile game, Discord has already seen swift adoption among online streamers and gaming community members. It's even attracting interest from series investors.
Having already built and sold another hot gaming program, the iOS Game Center precursor OpenFeint, tech entrepreneur Jason Citron and business partner Eros Resmini made plans to bring the success of Dota 2 and League of Legends to mobile.
Fates Forever was a variation on the popular MOBA formula, designed exclusively for the iPad form factor, and launching in 2014.
Despite having done decently enough at review, Fates Forever was not long of this world, but its development had turned its studio team on to an unmet need for a different sort of online chat app.
They soon set about developing Discord, which offers both voice and text chat for free, via dedicated mobile app, desktop program, or web client.
It's entered an already busy sector, with Teamspeak, Ventrilo and Mumble -- already popular for gaming uses; Slack and Skype are favoured for its simplicity and mainstream recognition.
The way that data transmits between users adds a layer of protection against IP and DDoS attacks, making for a swift endorsement among the online streaming community.
Quick communication, ease of use, and minimal impact of game performance have also helped Discord find fans not just in the MOBA genre, of which Dota 2 and League of Legends are a part, but other games leaning on multiplayer interactions, including space epic Star Citizen and lavish MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Its success has been verified with an attention-grabbing $20m round of venture capital funding, led by Californian firm Greylock Partners, acting alongside fellow state VCs Benchmark, YouWeb Incubator, and Chinese internet giant Tencent.
Tencent is already well known within global gaming circles for its purchase of Riot Games, the Los Angeles studio behind League of Legends, the team-based casual-to-competitive eSport whose annual tournaments culminate in a $1m world finals.