Microsoft has just spent $7.5 billion to bring ZeniMax Media (and thus, Bethesda) into its first party network of game studios. That's an eye-watering sum, and you'd think would leave the corporation's pockets feeling a little lighter than usual. Well, according to a new report from Bloomberg, it's looking to splash even more cash, and this time, the target is Discord.
The report, sourcing "people familiar with the matter", says Microsoft is in talks to acquire the immensely popular online chat platform for "more than $10 billion". The report is corroborated by a similar story from VentureBeat, which states Discord is "exploring its options" for acquisition after several parties showed interest — one of which being Microsoft, of course.
The chat service was founded in 2015 and has quickly become the place to talk online with friends, particularly for gaming groups. It attracts more than 100 million users a month, and is apparently looking to expand its reach and appeal to a wider audience. For Microsoft, ownership of such a popular service would be big for Xbox and the larger company. Bloomberg analyst Matthew Kanterman explains the acquisition would make sense "as it continues to reshape its gaming business more toward software and services", suggesting Discord's premium subscription Nitro could become part of Game Pass.
Apparently, other companies interested in acquiring the platform include Epic Games and Amazon.
For now, there's no official word on any of this, but it does seem like a feasible deal from where we're sitting. What do you think about this report? Is Microsoft going to buy up Discord? Would it matter? Would it affect PlayStation at all? Discuss in the comments section below.
[source bloomberg.com, via videogameschronicle.com, venturebeat.com]
Meanwhile sony closes communities and buys evo.... I was thinking Discord might be the thing that replaces communities on Ps5
Here's the funny thing.
People bemoan the lack of voice chat for games natively, yet realistically, the better option, and one most people use even with voice chat available, is Discord.
So Microsoft going for that, to have an effective voice chat and team based communication effort under it's belt, would be smart. It fits their business.
Just like Sony buying EVO, an outside thing that simply exists to bolster its image in gaming as THE place for what that thing does well.
The only question is, at what point does this consolidation in the industry stop?
And at what point does someone come knocking for say, Intelligent Systems, or Camelot, or Bluepoint or Grezzo?
There comes a point where all this does is consolidate the industry into a few companies, and that just takes stuff away from the others, causing them to react in kind.
there are also other reports saying that a deal is not imminent and that it is more likely they will go public rather then selling themselves.
so yeah don't riot at sony just yet.
I can see how young gamers who play with multiplayer online groups might care to get this free as part of Gamepass. So probably a good acquisition for MS to grow that service.
I’ve never used it as those types of repetitive games that require social interaction to be interesting don’t appeal to this antisocial gamer.
I mean this one doesn’t affect me so go ahead. That’s a lot of cash, though!
I still don't think I understand what discord truly is and I'm fine with that fact.
@get2sammyb I'm thinking the same. I only use Discord for work so it doesn't affect me at all, but all of this consolidating is getting scary.
@TrueAssassin86x Not enough people were using Communities though. It was a dead duck. Sony seem to be in trim the fat mode right now.
You'd like to think they're planning something with all of these cuts happening. Or maybe buying EVO was the plan? Who knows right now?
That's a lot of game pass subscriptions to sell. £17.5 billion to recoup eventually.
I don't use discord so I sort of don't care.
After watching how badly Skype went down under Microsoft, I'm really not keen on seeing how they're going to run Discord.
@RBMango How did it go down tho?
I used discord when I was a PC only player. I only see the connection to PC not consoles.
Hopefully this will mean Xbox chat gets better at least.
Do Microsoft create anything of their own anymore or just buy things that are already successful and better then any option they can come up with?
Oh boy, Skype 2.0
@Orpheus79V was thinking the same.
Holy cow... how they are throwing around with their money is ridiculous... at least they can make very good exclusives lmao. Buying is not making MS. One day it will break your neck I swear
@Jmck87 Microsoft as an overall company made well over that amount in one quarter.
Got to remember, Xbox didnt buy Zenimax, Microsoft did.
@Spyroescape My usage of "go down" is in terms of quality, user interface, customer service, etc. The service is still alive obviously, but its quality (especially the voice call connections) got noticeably worse after the Microsoft acquisition.
@Haruki_NLI that's a fair point and I get they are trying to bolster the gaming side of the business but all investments require payback eventually even if your big enough to absorb the losses.
Doesn't effect me what so ever I actually really like ps5 chat system (not sure how it was on ps4) I feel there's alot of ps users who don't understand ps party system now including some of my friends 😂.... But upto 100 in a group (not sure how many in voice chat at one time) can come and go as you please in voice chat send messages, pic, clips in the group... Share play, share screen in the group all without that chat disappearing when going offline all good to me... I'm sure they could implement some kind of party chat disabled in really tactical games if they wanted more people to communicate in game
If it means they leave Playstation developers/publishers alone for a while, they can crack on.
But if people dont realise the inherent dangers of Microsoft folding and homogenising huge parts of the tech world under their umbrella, i think they need to start being wary about it
@Haruki_NLI this may also link into Microsoft teams which they are pushing hard on at the min and will have seen an explosion in users in the current climate?
The logo and the name is literally all I've seen from Discord lol
I know it's a popular service though.
When I saw this my first impression was, “Wow, I had no idea Discord was worth that.” And my next thought was “These large corporate purchases are a little concerning.”
Not just MS, but Amazon, Facebook, Tencent, or whatever large company that gobbles up everything in their path. Not sure why it concerns me, but it does.
Everyone always mentions gaming sales on how Microsoft will recoup it's cost of purchases like this and forgetting about Microsoft's multi-million dollar Azure subscriptions (like the one Sony bought to boost it's infrastructure) and the vast amount of contracts it has with corporations and governments across the world for various services and products.
Bottom line, Microsoft didn't become a trillion dollar company selling Game Pass subscriptions. It became that way by basically being everywhere.
This was my first thought as well.
Skype went from being one of the best chat/messenger apps to nearly broken in a shockingly short amount of time
Worst case scenario, Microsoft will give Nitro to Game Pass members for free. I don't see them doing anything against PlayStation except maybe features on Xbox and Windows first.
skype went down the crapper after microsoft bought it and MS teams is utter s**t.. $10bn for discord seems like a move designed to make sure a competitor doesn't get a service with a better image than the garbage you're peddling.
I wonder if it will stop being free.
@Jmck87 May very well be a move to incorporate both Teams and Game Pass.
And yeah, the costs have to be recouped, but Microsoft is one of the biggest companies on the planet. They bought Zenimax for more than Bethesda (That was just the tagline) but 7.5B is a drop in the bucket for them. Directly recouping the cost of that acquisition won't take them long.
That being said, the Zenimax deal was initially expected to be finished by June, the end of the Microsoft fiscal year. So maybe with this getting done sooner, they've got a bit of spare cash to throw around, or maybe they're looking and will fit into their costs for next year.
Like I said on a different topic. Microsoft has endless funds. They will buy if necessary the whole gaming industry and everything that is related to it. A publisher like ZeniMax was the beginning soon more publishers will follow. And discord fits the bill and is just another step to take control of the gaming industry. The acquisition of Evo by Sony is pocket money compared to this.
@Shepherd_Tallon "Japan Studio has been streamlined down to the one team that had any success in the last 5 years"
What does that even mean? Success how? Astro comes with every PS5 so everyone is basically forced into playing it (great game btw) 😅 So if Gravity Rush was included with every PS4 that would be a success too?
@carlos82 There Is a Reason People Call Microsoft The Borg
Don't they already have Mixer, or whatever it's called? And Skype?
It's about eliminating competition to their existing chat services (such as Skype). It's monopolistic behaviour and not at all healthy for the market.
They can buy it and keep it all they want. None of my PS4 or PS5 friends use that anyway
@Octane They killed Mixer last year lol, they still have Skype tho
This would be a key piece in integrating PC and Console players via Voice chat party systems. Discord is massive in the gaming PC world and would be a huge hit for Sony/Nintendo if Microsoft scooped it up and eliminated what could be a true cross platform communication system.
Microsoft looks like new Disney. Buy as much as you can. Milk whats profiting, close whats falling. I won't be surprised if they cut or slay xbox division at all.
Discord will be getting shut down soon then.
Astrobot Rescue Mission, the PS4 game, has a lot of potential going forward with regards to PSVR2 and what can be done with that IP. Nothing else from Japan Studio had been making such positive waves over the last few years.
Astrobot, the PS5 game that nobody was forced to play, is absolutely a success given the positive feedback it's been getting and the degree to which it demonstrates how well haptic feedback can be used if and when it's implemented.
If you would like to send a reply, please don't be condescending or passive aggressive.
meh, i play single player games on Playstation. as long as i can get to play those and experience great stories, characters etc. as well as JRPGs - - - Microsoft/XBox can do whatever they want with Discord
As long as Discord doesn't undergo some ridiculous change from this acquisition. I use Discord for keeping up with my online friends, voice chat and whatnot.
All these acquisitions in recent years are really worrying.
It's pretty apparent by now that anti-trust measures should be way more restrictive than they are, we cannot be expected to give money to only 3 companies for Pete's sake.
Do believe this line of MS buying everything to shut it down or assimilate it is terrible for the technology industry as a whole, however I own a small company and admit my aim with it is to grow it big enough for one of these large companies to fear it enough to buy it out and shut it down. That would make me enough money to retire and show how successful the company had become!
Meh. What does it have to do with PlayStation ?
My thoughts exactly. This buying spree is getting a bit concerning.
@carlos82 This is nothing new for MS. When they started Windows they took it from Xerox who didn't know what to do with it. Then when the system got traction, companies developed video- and audio-player, a calculator and more. MS bought them up, the rest of the companies went away and so it went on and on. MS doesn't make, they only take.
Been using a discord since 2016 summer and have seen enormous growth of the service over the years. I also operate few thousand people server there. However, to me discord really shines in the creativity area, not voice communication. To be fair, there are tons of apps capable delivering same results or even better than discord, but not many I know does it better with integrations.
Must be a slow news day for a PS site to be reporting on what I considering to be a MS rumor at the moment. But anyway on yo why I posted ...
@Tielo actually MS got Windows from Apple not Xerox. Apple stole it from them. This was super common back then.
I don't see how discord has anything to do with playstation to be honest.
It's a popular app in the pc space for sure and being integrated with Xbox would make sense in a way with the convergence of pc and xbox but it has no impact on on the playstation ecosystem itself.
A huge proportion of the channels on there have nothing to do with gaming with porn channels and general chat about non gaming topics.
If anyone was going to buy it I'd think Amazon/twitch would be a better fit imo due to the large amount of non gaming channels.
How Microsoft police it if they brought it under the Xbox banner would be interesting.
Hate discord anyways. If M$ does buy it at least they'll probably clean the place up a bit. Too much unmoderated garbage goes on in there.
@Shepherd_Tallon "Nothing else from Japan Studio had been making such positive waves over the last few years"
Well you're trying to damage control by downplaying Japan Studio's games or by suggesting they were a irrelevant studio because their games don't sell 20 million copies.
They and their games were a very important part of Playstation, more so than a studio like Media Molecule (btw their game also sold like crap, why hasn't Jim closed them too to trim fat?)
@Pikki XBox integration would be a big goal. For a long time, a lot of XBox users have been begging for a way to use Discord directly from the XBox, and that has increased with the increase in Cross Play games.
This is just a rumor.... Discord will probably go public.... or it could also be bought by Amazon instead (or anyone other party interested in this)... who knows...
Don't care anyways since I have never used Discord...
Nowadays games are all about money it seems. The result: less interesting, duller, middle of the road, mainstream audience pleasing games. The more money invested, the safer the choice of games will be that are coming out, because they cant take the risc of not making money. Hollywood had the same (how many superhero movies does one need), now you start seeing it on Netflix, and soon we'll start seeing it on games. It means if someone suggests making a game about a fat Italian plumber, he will be laughed at.
@Juanalf You'd have to ask Jim why he hasn't shut Media Molecule. Maybe they have a plan for Little Big Planet or Dreams? There's potential there. Just like with Astrobot.
I have no interest in damage control though. You don't agree with me - That doesn't mean I work for Sony, and I don't understand the draw of being a fanboy so defending a brand or championing one system over another doesn't appeal to me.
It's just a comment section. I'm just an enthusiast. I was just making an observation based on what we think we know. A very speculative observation. Like everyone else. We're all guessing what Sony might or might not do next based on the cuts they've been making.
I'm not trying to challenge your beliefs or your joy in games made by Japan Studio.
@Shepherd_Tallon yea.... also MM isn't going anywhere, they are one of their most critical acclaim studios (even if their games don't sell as much as wanted).
Most of their games usually scored really high and are critically darlings. Recently, MM's Dreams got nominated (as well won) to a bunch of gaming awards. A day ago, Siobhan Reddy (MM's director) received the BAFTA Fellowship. They are probably in the works on a new project as well.
@rpg2000 Exactly this. Exactly. They're an industry darling. I was genuinely thrilled to see that BAFTA nod too, and I wouldn't even be that big a fan of their games before playing Dreams.
They do such good work.
I think MS is buying discord for its 300M registered users and not necessarily for its platform. A discord app on Xbox will be great for cross-platform games.
yay, More Xbox news on a PlayStation site! Discord does not even make a profit! Pure Xbox point is what?
This is very bad news for PlayStation fans that wanted to have Discord on their PS4/PS5.
I know we're in the minority, but nonetheless we are still hoping Microsoft does not acquire Discord.
I was really hoping Sony would replace their party system with Discord. The features and voice quality are top notch. If MS does end up buying them I just hope they don’t treat it like they did Skype.
Until Konami gets bought by one of these giants, all other deals are pure garbage.
@GamingFan4Lyf If it wasnt for Windows and Office in the start they would have been gone long ago but that didnt happen.
@Juanalf They made a lot of my favorite games but people rather buy the next COD or AC with the new generation it will only get worse it a pity but if it does not sell why keep it alive? I would really loved games more Japan Studio games but if it does not sell its just a waste
@Shepherd_Tallon Still they have so many gems its a pity crappy games sell more.
I use Discord as a way to connect with people, and sometimes watch and join in on streams. I hope MS respects that Discord serves all kinds of functions and not just an easy way for friends to chat while gaming.
@Flaming_Kaiser Indeed. I still get a buzz when I see the Japan Studio logo at the start of a game. Gravity Rush, Last Guardian, Bloodborne. Whether they took the lead or assisted, the games were generally special in some way.
But as you say, other games just sold better. And something, unfortunately, had to give it seems.
Makes me want to play Gravity Rush again.
Don't even know what discord is 😂
@Jmck87 someone else said Microsoft made something like 50 to 60 billion a year in profit.
Don't know if thats true.
I agree. Why is this even news here?
Its not like there s nothing else to talk about. There has been big changes in Sony leadership and PushSquare does even mention it. I don't get it.
@MSXSPS some serious money that will be even already absorbing the assumed losses from game pass? I suppose this is why Sony focuses on its own output of quality single player titles and doesn't get drawn into trying to compete? I have all PS and Xbox apart from current gen I was more 360 than ps3 but this generation cemented me as a Sony gamer I think can't get on with the Xbox 1 at all UI is horrible. If I were able to justify jumping to next gen would definitely be ps5 for me just because you know the quality that the studios are going to keep pumping out for the whole generation.
All servers of non Microsoft related games are to be banned!
@Shepherd_Tallon Yeah its a pity gamers pick up the the yearly updated games and the copy and paste ones.
I like AC but is it that special its a mess every year with a new game sorry liveservice game (where the gamers are the testers).
Quality does not sell but here at Pushsquare they are on a crusade too crucify the first party games because of the increase in price. Forgetting that it has no seasonpasses or DLC.
I loved it when they called the Mamba Edition from NBA2K a free nextgen upgrade even with a €99 price point. 🤪
Sad to think every person on earth could have at least a million dollars. Sigh
Tried Discord months ago... hated it. It's a shambolic mess.
MS have a real knack for buying up things I'm not keen on, which probably goes some way to explaining why I've never been particularly interested in their products.
They're like that person you see and think you want to be with, but then discover you have nothing in common.
@Flaming_Kaiser About that price hike, am I wrong or does that not happen at the start of every gen? And then the prices come back down after a year or two?
Am I imagining that?
This is really only a thing on PC. Instead of jumping from UPlay to Origin the entire squad is just on Discord. It simply the best solution for a problem that was always there.
On PlayStation chat is universal and seamless. If anyone needs to buy Discord it is Nintendo.
@Shepherd_Tallon Look for me its like this the Firstparty title are getting more gorgeous every gen and they get bigger. I dont have a gamepass, quality games, no microtransactions and if we get a expansion its mostly quality stuff. I cant almost cant remember a Firstparty title i had big issues with and i dont mind paying for that im not counting sportgames because the dont have value and are useless in a year so even the games Sony release. But again thats my personal opinion.
@Flaming_Kaiser I'm inclined to agree. I understand why people don't like a price hike of course, but personally it doesn't affect my decision to buy new games at launch.
I'm also trying to get back to gaming like I did when I was younger - Play the crap out of a few games a year, rather than speed through 3 games a month. So an extra tenner on a game won't impact me too much.
Plus, it's the price of 2 pints. That's the equivalent of going down to the pub 45 minutes later than usual on a weekend where I'm planning on buying a game.
Let’s see how quick they can run it into the ground like they did with Mixer and Skype.
Lol... All of these Playstation user who never used a device outside of Playstation.
Discord is extremely popular in the PC gamer/geek community. Used by artist, gamers, massive companies... etc. I'm apart of the official DOOM, Stadia, Genshin Impact discords.
If Microsoft was to do this purchase. It would be massive for them.
My only issue is that... I'm also apart of a lot of lewd servers, so hopefully them buying discord doesn't means the end of these servers.
@Shepherd_Tallon Ah yes thinking in beers i like that. For Discord never used it but its also a scary thing now that a few big companies buy everything somehow its all American companies. Its a easy way too stop the competition. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Apple its good for no one if companies get too big.
@Flaming_Kaiser I use Discord every day for work, but outside of work I don't use it at all. I'm not too fussed where it goes.
I agree though - All of these companies on a consolidation spree is scary. On that note, did you see Sony's acquisition of Crunchyroll has triggered the US Justice Department because of competition laws?
@Shepherd_Tallon So funny if you look at Microsoft or Apple, Google, Uber, Amazon, Disney they buy everything and somehowthe US is ok with that. 🤪
@Flaming_Kaiser I had someone in work make that exact same point just today. I'm not familiar with how the law works, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be fine for Sony.
Make me wonder though if this is why they went in to a partnership with Kadokawa instead of buying them outright.
@Shepherd_Tallon I dont know how the money is at Sony lets be honest they almost died with the PS3. Microsoft does not even has too try and they still will make money.
@JJ2 yep very odd I saw quite a few promotions.
@Flaming_Kaiser Yeah there's also that. The way forward for Sony won't be tonnes of publisher acquisitions. At least not yet.
Partnerships and stock options that guarantee continued access might be their best bet right now.
@JJ2 This comment section aged well.
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