Discord Is Launching Its Own Curated Game Store

Back in June, ubiquitous chat company Discord launched a games tab that bore a slight resemblance to Steam's front page. Now it's launching its own store that resolutely refutes Steam's anything-goes approach.

Valve recently said that it's opening Steam's floodgates wider than ever before. Discord, on the other hand, says it is hoping its store will have a "cosy neighbourhood book shop vibe".

"We'll be launching a curated game store experience similar to one of those cosy neighbourhood book shops with recommendations about the hottest and newest games from us to you", the company said in an announcement, noting that "big" publishers like THQ and Deep Silver are already on board — though if we're being real, THQ and Deep Silver are far from the biggest.

In addition, signing up for Discord's "Nitro" subscription program will now net you a handful of curated "golden" games alongside benefits that were previously included.

There will also be indie games on the Discord store and the company says it will open up a new "First On Discord" program in which it funds indie developers in exchange for temporary exclusivity. The exclusivity window will "usually" last 90 days, Discord says.

Lastly, you'll be able to use Discord to launch any of your games, even if you didn't buy them on the rapidly expanding communications megalith. The new "Universal Library" feature will scan your machine for games and then handle booting all requisite launchers.

Read one way, this just sounds like Discord is trying to make something convenient and comfy. Read another way, it seems like a manifesto aimed at eventual Steam-like dominance. Perhaps it's something in between. A friendly neighbourhood overlord.

Interestingly, Discord chief marketing officer Eros Resmini told Variety that the company is doing this in part because it "didn't want to sell ads or user data" and in this age of platforms like Facebook farming vast fields of personal info to aid our advertising overlords, that's at least refreshing to hear.

Discord says, however, that chat will remain its "primary" focus, with a current emphasis on performance and new features like priority speaker.

The store's beta is rolling out today to 50,000 Canadian users.


Comments

    More options is always good, but I doubt I'll use this personally. I like Discord being just what it is - a good solid community-based chat-and-voice provider.

      The problem they have tho is they don't make any money, same as Uber and Lift for the driving servers. I am pretty sure they run at a loss.

      Whats more interesting to me is that this is basically them declaring war on Steam. We now have 2 sold

        I don't mind them finding alternate models of fundraising, I'd just rather those models be related to the product. I don't really like the idea of branching out into a pretty much unrelated business. Twitch did it too, and the Twitch app is a mess of game sales and mod management when all it really should be is just an app for watching video streams.

    The danger of re-buying is real, though. I'll see something interesting and have to check myself to make sure I haven't already got access to it through humble monthly or twitch prime, then just doublecheck all the other services I use to make sure I didn't accidentally buy it in a group of on-sale titles that I'll look at when I have time (and then just spend that time playing Warframe anyway). I've gotta check GoG, Steam, Origin, Humble, Twitch, at the least.

    I really need centralization. And if it isn't a platform doing it, like Steam has for so many years as the default, I'm gonna need those platforms to allow an app to touch all of them.

      "I'm gonna need those platforms to allow an app to touch all of them."

      That's been my dream for years, it'd stop Steam from having the monopoly and also allow people to properly and aptly manage their libraries.

      They sorta do... both GoG and Humble can link Steam accounts. And you can import most games into your Steam library regardless of where you buy them from.

      That said, if you're not a fan of Steam that doesn't help you.

    Steam friend list integration or it is dead in the water. Multiplayer games are such a pain in the ass as it is when launch EA and Ubi games from steam, let alone titles that don't have built in friends lists.

    Time to stop using Discord I see...

    Sick of products that start as something focused and become a big sprawling mess of added features that users don't want (at least some of us). I just want a simple to use, effective chat client. Most of Discords features are fluff. And this is just adding more :(

    The annoying thing is most people seem to have moved away from truly dedicated voice clients (Raidcall, Mumble, Ventrilo, etc) to Discord so there's not really an option anymore.

    Considering what a cesspit Steam is, I welcome this.

    So Steam was originally a patch distribution platform that then partnered up with publishers to start releasing a curated set of games and then eventually grew out its community features.
    Twitch started out as a streaming platform that then partnered up with publishers to start releasing a curated set of games and is trying to grow out its community features.
    Discord started out as a chat service and then started partnering up with publishers to start releasing a curated set of games and is continuing to grow out its community features.

    It's all just a little bit of history repeating...

    I've been following Fallout76 news and Bethesda will be doing the same with their products...reading many of the threads, its like Bethesda went out and murdered the posters' family. So many people pissed its not on Steam. Steam should not have the monopoly. Diveristy is better for competition.

      Diversity is better for competition but market fragmentation is not. Efforts like this one from Discord add to the market without taking away. Bethesda's walled garden? No. It's the same problem that we're already facing with streaming TV and everybody and their granmas creating new ones with exclusive rights. How is it good for the consumer if to watch 3 shows that you want, you have to pay for 3 subscriptions?

    Subscription models are a different discussuon, you don't have a monthly subscription to Steam, GOG or Bethesda . Bethesda's model is the same as others. And I do think you will find that bethesda will hold on to its IP for a bit then allow other places like Steam sell their latest products. A monoply on the market is not an advantage to the consumer.

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