Discord Lays Off Video Game Publishing Team

Discord is a ubiquitous platform at this point. As a chat service primarily dedicated to gaming and streaming, the application has made a big name for itself in recent years. However, one endeavor from the company behind the service might not be doing so hot: games publishing.

Around 2018, Discord began to tout itself as an alternative to Steam. Notably, the company offered developers who joined them a 90/10 revenue split – an aggressive strategy that curried favor with developers big and small. An anonymous source, who’s published with the company, spoke highly of “better, more competitive rates” to us.

But that might not have been enough. After last year’s high-profile failure of Discord’s Nitro subscription service, not to mention the closure of their store, it’s been unclear what the company’s direction in regards to publishing might be. As it turns out, that direction might be non-existent, as the company appears to be moving away from publishing altogether.

Our source pointed us to the exits of Andy Swanson and Anita Brey – two key players in Discord’s publishing arm. Swanson and Brey both announced their departures on LinkedIn five days ago. Their exit was preempted by last month’s appointment of new CMO Tesa Aragones, whose goal seems to be on growing out Discord as purely software-focused enterprise.

These are all moves that, while unfortunate, make total sense. Competing with a monolith like Steam was never going to be an easy task, and with the continued success of platforms like Epic Games Store and GOG, it makes sense that Discord’s publishing endeavors didn’t pan out. At the end of the day, Discord is a place where people go to talk, not buy games.

Of course, this preempts any sort of official announcement from the company. We’ll be reaching out to Discord to ask if their publishing endeavors are dead in the water.

However, the writing definitely seems to be on the wall.

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Bella Blondeau is a lovable miscreant with a heart of gold… or so she says.

She likes long walks in dingy arcades, loves horror good and bad, and has a passion for anime girls of any and all varieties. Her favorite game is Nier: Automata, because she loves both robots and being sad.

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