Last month it was reported that Microsoft was in talks to purchase chat platform Discord for $10 billion (around £7.2 billion). Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Discord has ended that talks, preferring to stay independent for now.
The WSJ report that “people familiar with the matter” say Discord has interest in floating on the stock market down the line, but also note talks could resume with Microsoft at a later date. Discord also apparently considered interest from three companies about a sale.
Microsoft have been on an acquisition spree over the past few years, particularly in games, buying up Mojang, Obsidian, inXile, Bethesda and more. Discord is a popular chat platform for people playing games, but would also have given Microsoft stronger footing in social media services. The company’s own game streaming service, Mixer, closed down last year.
Discord made $130 million in revenue in 2020, but is not yet profitable. Its real appeal right now is that it had 140 million monthly users last year, double the year before.
I use Discord every day – RPS has its own Discord server – and it’s a great way to chat with pals. It has good call quality, good moderation tools, and by and large, it just works. I’d be nervous of any acquisition because spending $10 billion on something tends to mean you want a return on the investment, and I don’t know how you make money from Discord without making the experience of using it worse.