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How Discord, Born From an Obscure Game, Became a Social Hub

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In 2015, Jason Citron, a computer programmer, was struggling to break through in the video game industry. The new multiplayer game he had created with his development studio, Hammer & Chisel, was not catching on.So Mr. Citron engineered an abrupt about-face. He laid off his company’s game developers, turned the game’s chatting feature into its sole product and gave it a mysterious name — Discord.“I think at the time we had maybe six users,” Mr. Citron said in an interview. “It wasn’t clear that it was going to work.”At first, Discord was popular only with other gamers. But more than six years later, driven in part by the pandemic, it has exploded into the mainstream. While adults working from home flocked to Zoom, their children were downloading Disco …

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