Microsoft To Potentially Buy Discord In $10 Billion Deal

Microsoft and Discord are currently in talks to reach an acquisition deal worth $10 billion. Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy are the programmers and entrepreneurs who founded Discord back in 2015 as a platform for people to talk while they play video games. The service is free and offers voice, video, and text chat, and has become extremely popular especially within the past year since so many people were stuck at home and investing in more at-home entertainment.

“During the pandemic, with people stuck at home and playing more video games than ever and also looking for ways to safely socialize, Discord became a hub for communities interested in the Black Lives Matter movement, homework help, book clubs and more, pitching itself as a place to talk,” said new Chief Financial Officer Tomasz Marcinkowski.

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The site itself now has more than 140 million monthly users and has brought in over $100 million in revenue last year. Last December Discord also doubled its valuation to $7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Users can create their own communities, or servers, on the platform which can range from having under 10 people, to hundreds of thousands. For Microsoft, the variation in communities on Discord is the biggest selling point. Microsoft in general has been looking for assets that would “provide access to thriving communities of users,” according to inside sources.

Discord’s popularity also stems from the fact that there’s no advertisements on it either. Instead, Discord offers a subscription service called Nitro that gives members the ability to customize tags next to their usernames, upload large files, and stream at a higher video quality; Nitro costs $10 a month and is how Discord makes its money.

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The platform has also allowed smaller video game creators to have their own space where they can chat with fans and discuss ideas. Megan Fox is the founder of the independent game development studio Glass Bottom Games, and she uses Discord to create communities for all the games her company develops.

“We really just wanted to build a low-key community that was nice to hang out in. Our first game, Skatebird, is about birds on skateboards and has a Discord community of about 900 users that mostly use the server to talk about birds, or skateboarding. Our studio also has a channel solely intended for users to share your attempt at a kickflip. Many Discord servers lean on humor and inside jokes, which is part of the appeal,” Fox explained.

Rod Breslau is an esports and gaming consultant who believes that “if Discord is going to sell, Microsoft may actually be one of the safest places for it to go without experiencing any major changes. Their recent acquisitions of LinkedIn and GitHub were both hands-off acquisitions, so this would likely be the same.”

The deal is still in the talking stages, and there’s no actual confirmation regarding if Discord plans to sell or not.