The Discord Store Beta

By Nelly

Three years ago, we set out to bring people together around games. Now, we’re going to bring the games to you.

Today, we’re slowly rolling out a beta test to about 50,000 of our Canadian players and will be expanding to more over time. These players will see an upgraded version of Discord Nitro that has access to a curated selection of games along with the current subscription perks. They’ll also see a new Discord Store tab in the home screen with individual games for purchase.

For many people like us, you grew up during a time when there were a relatively small amount of games being released. We remember devouring Nintendo Power, PC Gamer, and other various gaming mags to get a sense of the titles coming out. We were always longing for the next best title. Always anxious to get our hands on something fresh.

Today, the problem has flipped on its head. There’s an abundance of fantastic games. Fantastic games that we missed. Games that we even purchased but never got around to playing.

We want to give you an easy opportunity to play the golden games you’ve missed and we want to offer an awesome selection. So, we’ve curated some of these golden games and will be adding them to Discord Nitro.

Edit 8.9.2018 1:09 PM PDT: To be clear, if you’re in the beta and you subscribe to Nitro, you’ll get access to all Nitro games (which is a different selection of games than what’s available in the Store). It’s kinda like Netflix for games.

We’re excited to offer you the opportunity to catch up with amazing game experiences you might’ve missed and even mix up what you play with your friends from time to time.

The Nitro settings screen with games

Of course, we’re keeping all the current Nitro features as part of the perks — animated avatar, ability to choose your tag (the #0000 next to your username), higher quality screen share, custom emoji anywhere, animated emoji, larger file upload limit (50mb from 8mb), and a badge to show how long you’ve been supporting us.

You ever been in one of those smaller boutique book shops with recommendations from employees written on little note cards? We love that hands-on personal approach to sharing great content with others. We think this kind of cozy neighborhood book shop vibe would be great for games. It reduces clutter and makes it easier to find what you want.

Alongside the upgraded Nitro, we’ll be launching a curated game store experience similar to one of those cozy neighborhood book shops with recommendations about the hottest and newest games from us to you.

The Discord Store Directory

We’ll be showcasing a variety of titles that we think you’ll like. As the store grows, we’ll rely on our community and our team to make the store feel super personal and focused on games that we genuinely think you’ll enjoy! Here’s an example of a Discord employee’s recommendation of Dead Cells:

Kevin’s testimonial. Kevin is Cool!

For our store, we’re excited to announce we’ll be supporting “First on Discord” titles — indie games that we’ve helped bring to life. Supporting indie games pushes the boundary of creative game design and is important to innovation and the long term health of the industry. Of course, we think the games are really cool too!

To be very clear, First on Discord games are temporarily exclusive. They’re literally first on Discord — usually 90 days and then the developers can sell anywhere else they want. This beta won’t have any First on Discord titles, but we’ll be showing off some soon!

One more surprise for today! We know it’s frustrating to have a bunch of game launchers, so we’ll be adding a Universal Library tab to the Discord home screen as well.

If you want, Discord can scan your computer for games. Then, you’ll be able to launch any of your games through Discord even if they require another launcher (Discord will boot the other launcher and game). This way, you don’t have to worry about which game boots from where!

Kevin’s library. Kevin is Cool!

Some of you may be wondering… what about chat?

Discord’s voice, text, and video chat will continue to be a primary focus for us, with features like overlay text chat and priority speaker which we just launched.

We will stay highly focused on maintaining a quality user experience and app performance. We’ve always taken this approach (such as making sure GIFs only play while Discord is focused) and will continue to do this so that chatting in Discord remains awesome. For example, we’re designing the store so that it’s not in your face while you’re hanging out with your friends in a server.

With regards to performance, Discord will remain lean and fast. To learn how Discord will remain performant with the store additions, check out our engineering blog on how we keep Discord speedy with code splitting and dynamic loading.

Six years ago, the team behind Discord initially developed an iPad MOBA titled Fates Forever.

While developing Fates we thought “huh, it’s pretty annoying to get everyone into the same voice chat together.” Then, Stan went home and sautéed what was basically the first version of Discord and served it up the next day (which is ridiculous because Stan has never turned on a stove).

Rare photo of Stan using a stove. Some say this is fake.

After testing Discord out with our friends and family, we realized we were on to something. So, with one company pivot, three years, and a hell of a lot of support from all of you, Discord is where it is today. There are now over 150 million people who’ve used Discord. That’s insane. I can barely count to ten.

Discord Circa 2015. There was no dark theme — only pain.

Through Discord’s lifetime, we’ve always been thinking about fun, additive, and cool ways we could build a business that’s exciting and respects our players. We think the new Nitro and store are a great way to do this.

Ultimately, we want to make it easier for you to play games and spend time with your friends. This Nitro boost, store experience, and library will make it easier to find, share, and jump into games with friends all in the same place you already hang out.

Achieving all of this will take time, so we hope that you enjoy our limited but tasty selection for now. This is all in beta, so things may change by the time we’re ready to launch. What you see today will likely not be what you see in the future. As always, if you have feedback on things please hit us up on Twitter or comment below.

Lastly, we really, truly, appreciate all of you. This wouldn’t be possible without your continued support, so again, thank you.

Discord Team

P.S. If you’re a game dev and interested in working with us, fill out this form and sign up for our developer newsletter here.