Discord vs Valve: Discord’s New Game Library
Hoo boy, it only felt like a few months ago that I reported on the new game’s hub on the Discord app. Sure, that wasn’t such big news, but this time around, Discord are bringing themselves in direct competition with video-game monolith, Valve. They are creating a Game’s Library/Store, akin to that of what Steam users are currently used to. This is all well and good, but what do Discord think they can do differently? This is currently being tested in Canada*, but this is what the rest of the world can expect once it’s moved into more countries around the world. Along with this, today’s article will contain a few of my personal opinions on the matter.
This article by GamesIndustry.biz and this article by TechCrunch were the first I saw on the subject, so naturally I had to do my part and look at what the developers were discussing. On their official blog, they explained about what they were working towards, why they were making their own library and what sorts of games they’ll be putting up to begin with. Amongst the games were some relatively unknown titles, along with some older games like Saints Row the Third, Darksiders: Warmastered Edition and Super Meat Boy. All of the games they’ve started with are, at the very least, promising.
They also seem to have more of an emphasis on actually wanting to hear from game devs, as opposed to coming up with a system like Steam Greenlight. There’s currently a Google Form developers can fill in, allowing them to ask to work with Discord to put their games on the Discord marketplace. This is a good idea, as it means that it should be checked by someone (in principle). But this could mean that there is going to be a lot of work for the developers of Discord, keeping up with checking the games and making sure they’re of the quality Discord is looking for. This could be excellent, or just too much work for the smaller company.
The struggles that Discord are going to face are what we’d all expect:
- How will they cope with the downloading of games along with their current voice/text servers and video chat?
- Will the uptake from games developers, especially uptake by AAA Developers to the marketplace be any good?
- What will companies such as Valve, GOG, EA, Blizzard and Bethesda think of this move?
It’s not quite clear how much of an impact Discord is going to have on an already well covered niche – The digital marketplace for gamers. One of the best features they’ve offered is the inclusion of games on their Discord Nitro – The subscription service for Discord. Currently, Nitro is priced at $49.99 per year, or $4.99 per month. The Nitro service currently gives extra features to Discord users, such as a customised gamertag, GIF emoji’s, the use of your custom emoji’s on any channel you want and more. So, along with that, a free game to add to your Discord library? Not bad… But what about those of us who have 200, 300, 500, 1000 or more games on Steam?
Thankfully, Discord have thought about this and not just for Steam users. Indeed, Discord will be offering a launcher for all of your games, from Steam, GOG and more. I personally think that this is an excellent decision, but will it all work out? Will Discord eventually have to start working with one of these big market dominators? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, it’s all very exciting. What are your thoughts on Discords new venture? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
*P.S: At the moment, this is being tested by approximately 50,000 users in Canada. This’ll be extended out pretty quickly, if previous discussions about Discord’s update process is anything to go by.
P.P.S: Apparently, Discord still consider their voice and text servers to be a priority, as opposed to this becoming their main source of income. However, in fairness, the two could be integrated pretty easily, without affecting people in that big of a way. I’ve seen some people voice opinions that they want the option to disable the games library, but honestly, considering it’ll be in the same location as the aforementioned Games Hub, it’s hard to think of a better place to hide the damn thing.