You could see it coming from a mile off, but Discord has at long last come out and announced its intention to start selling games through the platform. Starting today, Discord is rolling out a beta test to 50,000 Canadian users, allowing them to see a curated selection of games which can then be bought through the chat client.
Just to add a little pep to proceedings, Discord will also be upgrading its Discord Nitro premium subscription with games. Subscribed to Nitro and you’ll now get a growing library of games to play each month, much in the same manner as Twitch Prime or Humble Bundle.
In a slight jibe at Valve, Discord announced its new service by saying “You ever been in one of those smaller boutique book shops with recommendations from employees written on little note cards? We love that hands-on personal approach to sharing great content with others. We think this kind of cozy neighborhood book shop vibe would be great for games. It reduces clutter and makes it easier to find what you want.”
The focus from Discord will be on picking though games and finding the quality ones which its team believes are worth sharing. It’ll be totally curated and include personal picks from Discord, as well as the reason why they’ve made it onto the platform.
They’re going in big on indies too, announcing the ‘First on Discord’ initiative. Indie developers can approach Discord and receive funding for their games under the condition that the games are exclusive to Discord for the first 90 days. Once the three months are up, they’re free to launch their game anywhere else.
Last but not least, there’s something I should nearly all PC gamers have been crying out for - a Universal Library. This new tab can scan your PC for games and then adds them to your Discord library. It is compatible with every game and every launcher, automatically booting the correct launcher for a particular game.
Considering Discord already has approximately 100 million users thanks to its chat grab, this is probably the biggest threat that Steam has faced in its existence. They’ve been playing the long game with this one, amassing a customer base that is almost as large as Steam itself before side-loading in the Discord Store.
From the perspective of Valve, they had to have been aware this is happening. Steam has been stagnating for a while now and this is a surefire way to encourage change. The pressure's on to deliver a big update soon, or else risk looking like the inferior platform.
What are your thoughts then, could Discord have the might to topple Steam? Does the Universal Launcher sound something you could be interested in? Let us know your thoughts below!