Microsoft and Discord, What You Need to Know

ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / NICK HOROWITZ – STAFF WRITER / APRIL 9TH, 2021 /

Microsoft’s latest target in their social acquisition boom is the platform Discord. Many readers will be familiar with the platform that’s defined our social lives for the last year, but the Redmond tech giant is now in exclusive talks to acquire Discord, to the tune of ten billion dollars.

Over the course of the last several years, Microsoft has made a number of big budget purchases in gaming and social media. Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, was acquired in 2014, for 2 and a half billion, and LinkedIn, the professional social network, followed for well over 20. More recently, Microsoft has attempted to buy Pinterest and TikTok, to no avail.

In seeking these companies to add to their portfolio, Microsoft is showing interest in making a defined move to the social and creative spaces. However, this has not been a strong suit for Microsoft in the past. Their acquisition, rebrand, and eventual disposal of their in-house streaming platform, Mixer, is still fresh in the minds of many.

Last summer, Microsoft announced that Mixer would be shuttered. At the time, it failed to hold even 3% of the streaming market competing against giants like Twitch and YouTube. This is after they sunk millions into exclusive deals with some of the most popular streamers in gaming, not to mention extensive development and attempts to build the brand.

For Discord’s millions of users, Micorosft’s track record after Mixer is deeply concerning. What changes will Microsoft try to institute to the voice over IP staple? Would Discord’s ties to the Microsoft ecosystem unduly burden it with bloatware, or worse, kill the product entirely?

It’s not clear what the future for this deal may be, or if it’ll even go through, but the possible results leave a lot to consider for the platform. In previous considerations, before exclusively talking to Microsoft, they mentioned going public as a viable alternative. Hopefully this doesn’t end with the product we all know and love going the way of Mixer or Skype, but only time will tell.

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