Discord Store Messes up, 90/10 revenue split and become open-platform

Yesterday Discord announced that they were turning their store into a self-serve game publishing platform with a 90/10 revenue split, giving more to developers, however it’s concerning that with this loss of revenue for Discord the original service may struggle?

Discord found that stores didn’t work hard enough for the 70/30 split with Steam leaving 100s of games with only 1 or 2 sales. In addition, developers were spending time creating stores and launchers as they had no cost-efficient way to release games instead of developing high quality games. After crunching the numbers Discord decided they could cover just “operating costs” with a 90/10 revenue split.

They went on to claim they would explore lowering their share further. This is great for developers but for those of us(it’s now 200 million they announced at the same time), who haven’t hopped on the store yet, and just use and love the initial service this is concerning because wasn’t the store supposed to help fund discord?

The main reason behind Discord’s announcement is Epic’s announcement of it’s store and their 88/12 revenue split. This tight competition is both good and bad for us consumers. While it means stores being forced to up their quality, it also means more launchers! 

Discord tried to bring developers over to their side further by announcing “improved” verified servers so developers can commune with their community more easily and more opportunity to appear on the new Activity Feed. 

However, this announcement is a disaster for the Discord Store. What made the Discord store unique was how beautifully curated it is with “personal recommendations” from discord staff and an open-platform would mean less curation. A user commented this concern on the initial Discord Blog Post and a discord representative, DannySaur, responded “Hey Leo, we’re still putting the curated experience at the forefront of the store with staff picks. Think of a book store where our staff picks are in the front, but if you want a book that’s an oldie, but goodie. We’d still be able to pull that up for you form the back of the shop. Hope that makes sense.” However less revenue would surely mean less staff to do the picking.

Post Script: Discord’s promise to “reverse platform fragmentation” should win award for “most self-serving but trying to sound friendly PR claim”. Platform Fragmentation is the idea that since there are now so many platforms we have to have 10 different launchers. However if you think about the above, discord is just saying that if they were the only launcher you wouldn’t have to have multiple launchers.

Leave a Reply