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Discord aims to disrupt by opening storefront to devs, offering 90% revenue share

Discord aims to disrupt by opening storefront to devs, offering 90% revenue share

December 14, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

December 14, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Discord announced today that it will be opening up its digital storefront for all developers to self-publish their games, with 90 percent revenue share going back to the developers. The move will officially happen in 2019. 

This gives game developers the opportunity to get their games in front of Discord's 200 million users, with a revenue share more favorable than the standard 70/30 digital distribution split seen on Steam and mobile storefronts. It also edges out the new Epic Games Store's 88/12 split.

Discord explained its decision in a blog post, where the company said users have become frustrated and desire one place to manage their games.

However, because existing stores charge 30 percent per sale it can be difficult to generate profit, and developers are creating their own platforms to avoid this fee.

Discord argued: "Why does it cost 30% to distribute games? Is this the only reason developers are building their own stores and launchers to distribute games?

"Turns out, it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018. After doing some research, we discovered that we can build amazing developer tools, run them, and give developers the majority of the revenue share." [Emphasis theirs.]

The company said its 10 percent share is to cover operating costs for the storefront, and suggested that share could drop even lower in the future "by optimizing our tech and making things more efficient." A Discord rep confirmed that there is also no submission fee for self-publishing.

Discord also has its Nitro subscription service which helps subsidize other parts of the company's business.

The company noted that the revenue share applies to "triple-A to single person teams," a mild jab at Valve Software's decision to offer a larger revenue share to games that make more revenue.

Opening the storefront likely means some trepidation among game developers who worry about discoverability, or their games getting lost in a mass of other releases. To that, a Discord rep told Gamasutra, "People find games through friends so our activity feed and other social discovery is a great way to find content. In addition we have an editorial team that curates our storefront based on what we think our audience would enjoy playing."

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