Discord Thinks It Can Woo People With Yet Another PC Game Launcher

Last week, the store wars began, but now they’re really getting spicy.

With Epic’s store up, running, and offering an 88 per cent cut of earnings to developers (compared to Steam’s industry-standard 70 per cent), Discord has fired back with an even more appealing offer: 90 per cent.

The revenue split will come to Discord’s game store in 2019 alongside a “self-serve game publishing platform” for developers that includes a launcher and patching tech. Of course, this means another launcher for players to juggle, but Discord says it actually wants to help cure the gaming industry’s case of launcher fever.

“We’ve also spent a lot of time talking to players, and what we’ve heard is that people are frustrated,” Discord CEO and founder Jason Citron said in an email announcing the change.

“Players really want to have one library — one place to manage their games. Unfortunately, because existing stores charge 30% per sale, developers are creating their own platforms to avoid this fee. We totally understand that developers are tired of sharing profits. And yes, we are aware that Discord is another launcher but we truly want to fix this problem for players and avoid this. We want less launchers and more cooperation and I believe Discord can create this environment.”

Discord probably also wants money, no matter how altruistic the company might be trying to seem.

Despite the eye toward growth and apparent ubiquity, Discord will continue to curate its store rather than opening the floodgates. As he has in the past, Citron again said to think of Discord as the “boutique bookstore” of game stores.

It remains to be seen whether this will cause Valve or Epic to reevaluate their approaches. Discord is enormous, boasting 130 million users as of earlier this year, but its store has yet to make many particularly large waves. If Discord has its way, that’s going to change in 2019.


Comments

    Yeah, well my online game store gives developers 100% of the earnings AND a handjob from Hideo Kojima!

      I am going to start my own store with Blackjack and Hookers... In fact forget the Store.

    So, when do we start placing bets on which of these stores becomes unsustainable and fails first?

      None.

      These platforms have low overheads and don't need much to support them. You don't need much to keep them running.

        Yup.
        Money for jam.

        My steam account is "worth" thousands of dollars, so I understand why people are so defensive over steam.

        But honestly, its bullsh!t. Apple, Sony and Nintendo provide entire platforms. Valve was simply "there first" on PC because Microsoft was (is) braindead. The next generation (ie kids playing Fortnite) won't give a damn about any of that.

        Writing is on the wall. Multiple stores are coming. Epic is the obvious heavyweight... and I don't think Discord has any real value proposition.

          It does, as the article points out it has a huge established userbase. So devs are going to be attracted to that.

          From a user perspective, even if you aren't already using it, the social features are outstanding so it makes a good client for community oriented games. And realistically a ton of people *are* already using it so it's not like you're installing something new.

          That said, I hope they don't screw up the chat side with all the changes they're making. I'd hate to see what is a reasonably light weight and efficient chat (both text and voice) client become a slow, bloated mess.

        Although wasn't the whole reason Discord expanded to game-selling so they could make revenue because their investment funding was finished and Nitro memberships weren't covering their costs? Whatever margin they're going with would have to cover both the storefront costs plus the chat service costs for them to stay viable.

        Yeah I know.

        I was more just getting at that the rate this 'bidding war' of sorts is going, eventually someone is going to promise something to developers and simply not deliver.

        And yet, it's happened before. Desura, Greenhouse, Impulse.

          Huh, didn't realise Desura was gone.

            Well. It’s been offline for a while, but apparently gremlins have occasionally broken into the server room to switch everything on and tell reddit so that burned customers can download their games again before it goes back offline. Seems like there’s a handful of necromancers working in secret to try and resurrect it.

        Tell that to Impulse, Direct2Drive and Desura.

        edit: Damn, beaten by the comment above

        Last edited 16/12/18 7:23 pm

    It will only hurt gamers. We'll need multiple launchers (more than we do currently), and there will be little flow-on benefit in price-reduction. With all the competition among games developers, that AAA $60 benchmark doesn't reduce, no matter what trash quality they roll out.

    I can't wait to see the day when installing one launcher will exclude you from installing a competitor launcher...just needs a little addition to the EULA/TOU and off they go.

      installing one launcher will exclude you from installing a competitor launcher
      Pretty sure our trade laws cover exclusive dealing so that wouldn't fly over here.

    I see a lot of articles on these stores amd what they are offering to developers, but what are you offering to consumers?
    We all know steams layout isn't the best and navigation can be tedious, where are the stores advertising streamlined navigation, great chat features, etc etc.

      I don't know about the streamlined navigation, but Discord offers great chat features :P

      The point is, folks already use Discord and the Epic launcher, so they don't need to be actively drawing in new people.

    Another day, another launcher. Reminds me of the current state of tv streaming platforms. The thing with discord though is that I know most people have it open regardless of what storefront they use for chat purposes. If discord can capitalise on that and make intergration of games from other store easy they could possibly get a leg up.

      People keep bringing up this comparison with streaming services, except streaming services cost to use whereas launchers don't.

        Not yet at least. But I see ones like Ea’s service potentially on other platforms.

    “We’ve also spent a lot of time talking to players, and what we’ve heard is that people are frustrated,” Discord CEO and founder Jason Citron said in an email announcing the change.
    “Players really want to have one library — one place to manage their games. Unfortunately, because existing stores charge 30% per sale, developers are creating their own platforms to avoid this fee. We totally understand that developers are tired of sharing profits. And yes, we are aware that Discord is another launcher but we truly want to fix this problem for players and avoid this. We want less launchers and more cooperation and I believe Discord can create this environment.”

    ...By adding another fucking launcher.

    https://xkcd.com/927/

    Over and over and over again...

      I think the most hilarious part about it all is that people once had that one library, that one place to manager their games... Steam.

        I once had a place where all my games were C:\Games.
        I typed dir and all my games were listed.

    Discord probably could woo them since almost everyone I know uses it in some way, shape or form - so the 'extra launcher' is easier to swallow then the Epic Game Launcher is. They also have more registered users than Epic Games from what i remember (130 mill+ or so). They have great integration with games already (displaying game data while you play too friends), and dominate the communication sector. Not to mention the subscription game library they now offer aswell with Nitro subscriptions.

    They had a great foundation to start with and it can only get better for them. That said, my god do I hate having 5+ launchers...

    Last edited 16/12/18 11:21 am

    The people who will capitalise the most on this, will be the people who build a launcher which downloads, updates and manages all other launchers and their games.

    We will come full circle eventually.

      There's a few out there already. I've been using Playnite, but I've seen that there's more.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now