With the interconnectedness and mass popularity of multiplayer online games in the current era, sparked by huge titles such as League of Legends and Fortnite, the ability to chat seamlessly across every platform has become a ubiquitous necessity for gamers. Taking advantage of this demand, the Discord app has become not just an integrated aspect of the gaming experience, but a powerful tool for connecting communities as well. Apparently, investors agree, especially with Discord’s recent foray into the digital game distribution sphere.
According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, Discord has successfully raised $150 million in a recent funding round right before the end of the year. This means the chat software maker is now valued at an astounding $2.05 billion, further cementing its place as a threat to established players like Steam and Epic Games. Speaking of the former, the gargantuan game distributor is now seeing its market share encroached upon, as both Discord and Epic Games have announced their own platforms that offer better revenue splits with developers.
The app’s meteoritic rise is no fluke either, as “Discord counts approximately 200 million users—more than quadruple what it had a year ago.” The move to enter the digital store market isn’t all that out of left field either, as Discord will probably need to generate more revenue going forward, and what better time to do so than in current market conditions where “PC game downloads and other digital sales are projected to reach a total of $32 billion this year, up 2.9% from 2017, according to SuperData.”
For the foreseeable future, Discord is looking to ride this wave of popularity to support its digital marketplace and an incoming game-subscription service. Chief Executive Officer Jason Citron says that “Getting the biggest, best-known games into a store can be expensive,” so the plan is to keep an eye on “current economic conditions.” Though the gaming market now welcomes newcomers, only time will tell which of these new services will successfully dethrone Valve’s entrenched titan of the industry.