Discord joins the fight … for your money. The popular communication platform for gamers is revealing today that it is opening a game store and adding an instant library of games to its Nitro subscription program. This is part of Discords continued pattern of growth from a social tool to a fully independent platform where you can buy (or subscribe to) games, maintain a library, and connect with friends for online multiplayer sessions. For many people like us, you grew up during a time when there were a relatively small amount of games being released, reads a Discord blog post. Today, the problem has flipped on its head. Theres an abundance of fantastic games. Fantastic games that we missed. Games that we even purchased but never got around to playing. We want to give you an easy opportunity to play the golden games youve missed and we want to offer an awesome selection. So, weve curated some of these golden games and will be adding them to Discord Nitro. The store is opening up in soft launch today for 50,000 players in Canada, and Discord plans to expand to more players and regions over time. Those early testers will also see the beefed up Discord Nitro, which includes a curated list of games that automatically appears for download in the new Discord library tab. The service plans to curate the games that appear both in the subscription and the store, so dont expect Steam like numbers of new games for now. And developers who sell their games in the store will get the same 70-30 split (30 percent going to Discord) that is standard on all other distribution platforms. And, of course, you can add all of your games from any service to Discords library so you dont have to open multiple frontends and stores. The game library in Discord. Heres whats in the Nitro subscription at launch: And heres what you can buy in the store: Discord is also introducing the First On Discord program where it will help launch indie games that are only available on its store or through Nitro for a limited time. Supporting indie games pushes the boundary of creative game design and is important to innovation and the long term health of the industry, reads the blog post. To be very clear, First on Discord games are temporarily exclusive. Theyre literally first on Discord — usually 90 days and then the developers can sell anywhere else they want. This beta wont have any First on Discord titles, but well be showing off some soon. So Discord is getting into the battle for your gaming dollars. Steam has dominated PC for so long, but it seems like something has broken loose recently. Major publishers are leaving Steam for their own platforms, and maybe Discord has enabled them to feel confident to do that because so many players no longer rely on Valves service for their social interactions. But now Discord is opening up shop as well, and it could potentially turn all of those users into customers in a way that disrupts gaming forever.
You'll also receive 'free' games with a Nitro subscription. Discord isn't just for chatting (and watching the occasional video) any more. The community-driven service is launching a beta that will offer games, including a full-fledged game store. The new portal will offer a "curated" store that focuses on titles both Discord and the community feel you might like. That currently includes a mix of familiar, well-received indie games like Dead Cells and Into the Breach. However, that's really just the start. The company is borrowing a page from Twitch by offering a selection of 'free' games with a Nitro subscription ($5 per month or $50 per year). You're not going to get blockbusters, but you will see recognizable names like Super Meat Boy and System Shock: Enhanced Edition. Discord is even nurturing games, too. It's unveiling a "First on Discord" initiative that will back indie titles in return for a 90-day exclusive on availability through Discord's shop. There aren't any titles in the beta, but they should come "soon." And whether or not you care for the store, Discord might make your game experience a tad simpler. It's adding a Universal Library tab that can launch "any" of your games through Discord, even if they require go-between launchers. The beta is currently limited to roughly 50,000 Canadian players, so don't expect to see it just yet. Even at this early stage, though, it's clear that Discord wants to be known as more than just a chat portal. It's not about to directly challenge Steam's vast game library, but it could quickly become a home base for many of your gaming needs.