World’s biggest gaming chat platform, Discord, takes aim at Steam with game store

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With over 150 million users, Discord is the world’s largest gaming chat platform.

Though the service is used by lots of different groups, the focus for Discord is gaming: It offers both text and voice chat. On Thursday morning, that service expands into an entirely new area — Discord is opening a digital game storefront.

That’s an especially big deal because of Discord’s huge user numbers — it’s one of the few services online that has a large enough gaming audience to reasonably take on the Valve-owned gaming juggernaut Steam, the world’s largest game store.

Chances are, if you’ve bought a game on a PC or Mac in the last decade, you bought it on Steam. The service boasts over 200 million users — and it has no real competition.

That said, it sounds like Discord doesn’t intend to take on Steam directly — at least not at first.

As the company said in a press release on Thursday morning, the Discord Store is intended as a “kind of cozy neighborhood book shop,” but for games instead of books.

New York City’s famous Strand Book Store is both gigantic and cozy.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More specifically, the Discord Store aims to curate a group of games that come with personal recommendations. Rather than the firehose approach that digital stores like Steam and the Apple App Store take, Discord intends to recommend and sell only “the hottest and newest games.”

For starters, the storefront is pretty slim on offerings — just under a dozen games are up for sale as of Thursday. They are as follows:

  • “Dead Cells”
  • “Frostpunk”
  • “Omensight”
  • “Into the Breach”
  • “SpellForce 3”
  • “The Banner Saga 3”
  • “Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire”
  • “Hollow Knight”
  • “Moonlighter”
  • “This is the Police 2”
  • “Starbound”

Moreover, only 50,000 randomly chosen Discord users in Canada will be able to access the store in its “beta” period.

Discord promises availability will grow over time, but it’s not clear when the storefront will exit beta and open up to all of the service’s hundreds of millions of users.



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