Microsoft already has at least two communications platforms so what’s the harm in having one more. For a time, Skype seemed to be its one chatting and calling solution until Slack and later Zoom forced it to grow Microsoft Teams. Now it might be taking on yet another communication, this time with a bent towards gaming, as Redmond gets deep into talks about buying Discord for a lot more than its recently valued worth.
Although there have been many software and services that allowed players to communicate with each other, those were complicated to set up, required some form of hosting, and had limited reach. Discord brought the power of the cloud to the gaming masses and soon became the household name in that industry when it comes to text, voice, and video chats.
That popularity has caught the attention of potential buyers, one of whom is Microsoft according to the usual sources familiar with undisclosed matters. The company is reportedly interested in buying Discord for more than $10 billion, a lot more than the $7 billion valuation it was given last year. Some analysts still don’t consider the service to be profitable as its revenue comes mostly from the $9.99 per month Nitro subscription for advanced features.
Discord’s acquisition will fall under Microsoft’s Xbox arm as its chief Phil Spencer is reportedly participating in the negotiations. Xbox has recently been on a studio acquisition spree, including Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, and acquiring Discord could bolster the gaming platform’s social aspects. Xbox was recently seen silently rebranding its Xbox Live online platform into “Xbox Network”, almost like hinting at a coming shift in perspective.
That said, the deal isn’t written in ink yet and could still go either way. In addition to looking at other potential buyers, one insider even reported that Discord might decide to go public instead than sell itself.