Discord Dodges Acquisition and Heads Towards Potentially Massive IPO

ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / NICK HOROWITZ – STAFF WRITER / MAY 5TH, 2021 /

Some of the biggest news in the gaming industry this month has been the potential purchase of Discord by Microsoft for a sum of 10 billion dollars. However, it was announced this week that the deal has fallen through. Discord will remain independent and proceed towards a probable public stock offering.

This is not the first failed pandemic-era acquisition for Microsoft. 2020 saw their attempt to purchase the social media platform TikTok meet a similar fate, despite the approval from the US government. Last summer also saw Microsoft shutter their much derided streaming platform, Mixer, despite investing tens of millions in exclusive contracts with some of the biggest names in streaming. CEO Satya Nadella has made it clear that Microsoft sees the future in creator-driven media and is looking to move into that space, but that desire has yet to bear fruit for the company.

After turning down this 10 billion dollar deal, Discord seems poised for a public offering. With a user base in the hundred of millions and a pull that now stretches beyond gaming, the company will likely receive a massive valuation should they go to market. However, Discord has yet to turn a profit. Their main monetization system, the $10 a month subscription called Nitro, doesn’t yet have the pull the platform is looking for, despite offering a variety of features that are extremely useful for anyone who regularly uses the service.

While the results of a potential IPO remain unclear, Discord backing away from acquisition by Microsoft seems to be a positive turn of events for users. The tech giant may have the productivity software market locked down, but the resounding failure of Mixer seems to show a lack of vision, interest, or ability to create truly successful gaming products. Discord remaining independent may allow it to preserve what is, frankly, the best voice and video chat service available for the millions that rely on it to manage their online social lives. At least for the time being, this appears to be a reprieve.

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