Bloomberg reports that, according to anonymous sources, Microsoft is currently in talks with Discord concerning potentially acquiring the service, for over $10 billion. The online chat platform has been approached by potential buyers before, and has now signed an exclusive acquisition discussion with one particular party, suggesting that its in the final stages of negotiation.
Discourse around Discord
Nothing is set in stone, though. One of Bloomberg‘s sources says Discord could very well opt to go public rather than be acquired. It worked for Roblox, so it could be profitable for Discord too, with its similarly massive user base.
According to Venturebeat Discord has turned down acquisition deals in the past because buyers have asked for items the platform wasn’t happy to support, such as embracing copious amounts of advertising (something the chat platform thankfully hasn’t explored on its own).
The platform is currently entirely free to use with its basic offering, but makes money off its Nitro surface, a R150 subscription netting users advanced perks and quirks, like more stickers and the ability to upload bigger files.
Venturebeat‘s source says that even with the subscription option pulling in revenue, Discord is still in its growth phase, and prematurely going public may be a bad idea. Even the company itself acknowledges that it has yet to become profitable.
So it seems that while talks are in their final stages, nothing is certain yet. Still, it raises important questions. Discord, with its focus on the gaming community, has become instrumental in connecting consumers with creators in the form of game studios and publishers. With Microsoft’s own connections in the gaming world, there are valid concerns that if it manages obtain the platform, it could end up directing it towards its own communities, leaving others in the dark.