Discord creator Hammer & Chisel has launched GameBridge, a free SDK that allows developers to add text and voice chat to community-driven games and applications.
Games that adopt GameBridge technology will introduce in-game Discord chat servers, allowing users to discuss gameplay and formulate strategies with one another. The technology also offers a suite of community engagement features, giving developers more control over interactions between players.
Discord, originally launched in 2015, is a gaming-focused text and voice chat program that allows users to build free online communities with private or open invitations. When chatting in a Discord channel, users can also post images, share video clips, and private message other community members.
The service is free for all users and does not feature advertising, making it an appealing alternative to rival chat services like Skype. Over the past year, Discord attracted a user base of 25 million registered members, who collectively exchange more than 100 million messages on a daily basis.
The new GameBridge SDK shares many of Discord’s standout features while adding community management-focused moderation tools. Hammer & Chisel pitches the technology as an ideal chat solution for online games in particular, as it saves players the trouble of hopping into a separate application in order to discuss strategies and match results.
“Before GameBridge, devs had three options when it came to voice and text chat — build their own tools — which is time and resource draining; license some other tech — generally limited in what they will then actually have access to and what they can customize; or do nothing,” Discord CMO Eros Resmini said. “GameBridge gives them a really strong fourth option.”
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Online games publisher Nexon is among the first to license GameBridge technology, revealing that the SDK will power text and voice chat for its upcoming first-person arena shooter LawBreakers. Other GameBridge early adopters include Blade Ballet developer DreamSail Games and Unearned Bounty creator Extrocold.
Publishers and developers who wish to introduce GameBridge technology to their games are subject to approval and must adhere to Discord’s brand guidelines, but are otherwise given full access to the service free of charge.