Discord Launches 'Discord Store' Beta
Discord has been a favorite communication tool for a vast majority of gamers as a way to keep in touch with friends, to build communities around games or genres, and to serve as a place for folks to gather and chat about a variety of gaming topics. Discord has served as a “Slack” for gamers since May 2015 when it initially launched to rousing success, gaining 3 million users by January 2016. As of May 2018, there are 130 million unique Discord users, which is incredible.
That’s why when Discord first announced it was a building a store platform this past summer, I was both shocked and excited. Discord would be taking a shot off Steam’s bow, and I am here for it. Today, a few months after the initial announcement, Discord launched its beta version of what they’re calling the “Discord Store” for all of its users globally.
It seems that there are a few ways to use this new feature. Users can purchase one-off games as they would on Steam or GoG, or users can become “Nitro” users and, based on their monthly subscription, have a base library of games that they can play automatically upon purchasing that subscription. The UX of the Store seems to be totally pleasing to the eye, though the game cards may be a tad bit large, and when you click into a game you can see a description, system requirements, details, and features - but notably missing is a reviews section (perhaps they’re waiting for a full release, remember this is the beta). You can check out Discord’s official blog piece on their new Store here.
What’s most exciting to me is that I hope this makes one of two things happen. Either this kicks Valve’s butt into transforming Steam into an application that actually has a workable UI with intuitive features (I honestly believe they do not have a single UI/UX designer on staff), or Discord simply becomes more and more popular and gains a huge library of games, effectively replacing Steam. I find the first option way more possible than the second, but either path sounds good to me.