Primarily aimed at the gaming audiences, Discord is a successful chat app that has gained 150 million users and 19 million daily users. In a podcast with the tech outlet Recode, Discord CEO Jason Citron shared the company's plan to increase the revenue stream for the popular service.
So far, the app's only revenue stream has been Discord Nitro which costs $5 a month and whose bonuses are limited to niche features like custom emotes and animated avatars. But according to Citron, Discord will soon start making money by becoming a game storefront. Once Discord starts selling games, Discord Nitro will become a gaming subscription service much akin to EA Access and Xbox Game Pass which offers an "all-you-can-eat buffet" of games.
He believes that Discord's social features that allow users to check what their friends are playing will create a synergy with the storefront. Rather than selling every game on the market or focusing on major titles, Citron stated that the goal of the Discord store is to recommend small but interesting titles based on what friends are playing. He compared the service's vision to a local bookstore that understands its customers and can provide reliable recommendations.
While Citron did not share any timeline for the new service, Discord's transformation may not be too far off. According to Variety, Discord will launch a beta test for the game store service this Thursday for 50,000 randomly selected users in Canada. Discord Nitro users will be able to play the following 10 games for free:
- Saints Row: The Third
- Metro: Last Light Redux
- Darksiders: Warmastered Edition
- De Blob
- Tormentor X Punisher
- Kathy Rain
- Kingdom: New Lands
- System Shock Enhanced Edition
- Super Meat Boy
Also, the store will start selling the following games:
- Dead Cells
- Into the Breach
- SpellForce 3
- The Banner Saga 3
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
- Hollow Knight
- This is the Police 2
Discord is also planning a new program called First on Discord. First on Discord games are the ones that Discord 'helped bring to life' and are exclusive to the servicefor the first 90 days after launch. However, there won't be any First on Discord games at the store launch.
Starting from the addition of the games tab back in June, Discord is on track to become a total gaming solution that reaches beyond text and voice chat. This vision inherently clashes with Steam, all the more because Steam is also trying to take on Discord by overhauling the chat experience. The competition and rivalry between the two services is something to watch out for during the next few months.