Discord has slowly but surely been expanding its storefront over the past couple of months, most recently introducing Early Access titles. Starting next year, the platform will be opening up its store for self-publication, ushering in a new leading revenue split that edges out competition.
Although Discord beat Epic Games in launching its own store, the Fortnite developer recently made headlines for its unprecedented 88/12 percent revenue split in favour of developers. This managed to undercut Steam’s less-than-generous 70/30 percent take, which matches the same split seen on console platforms.
Alongside opening up its platform to any developer wishing to publish their own game, Discord has gone a step further by offering developers a whopping 90 percent take. “Turns out, it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018”, quips Discord, chastising competition. “After doing some research, we discovered that we can build amazing developer tools, run them, and give developers the majority of the revenue share.”
Discord also has a head start on what Epic Games is trying to build, already having its communication services up and running. It might be difficult for the platform to remain on the same path as its competition, however, as Epic plans on fully-fledged cross-platform & online services, as well as bolstered DRM. All of that for an extra 2 percent take doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice for most studios once the features are live.
Another major difference is that Discord’s approach carries the same caveats as Steam. While Epic will stablise itself as a highly curated platform, at least in the beginning, Discord’s relaxed attitude means that smaller games could easily be buried under cash-grabs. Still, Discord is banking on its Nitro subscription to carry the extra costs and its social features to help the discoverability of titles.
KitGuru Says: Discord has a great social platform at its core, but relying on optional word-of-mouth to increase the exposure of certain titles is definitely a bold move. Still, none of this comes into place until next year, with plenty of time to refine as it goes.