Last week, the store wars began, but now they’re really getting spicy. With Epic’s store up, running, and offering an 88 percent cut of earnings to developers (compared to Steam’s industry-standard 70 percent), Discord has fired back with an even more appealing offer: 90 percent.
The revenue split will come to Discord’s game store in 2019 alongside a “self-serve game publishing platform” for developers that includes a launcher and patching tech. Of course, this means another launcher for players to juggle, but Discord says it actually wants to help cure the gaming industry’s case of launcher fever.
“We’ve also spent a lot of time talking to players, and what we’ve heard is that people are frustrated,” Discord CEO and founder Jason Citron said in an email announcing the change. “Players really want to have one library — one place to manage their games. Unfortunately, because existing stores charge 30% per sale, developers are creating their own platforms to avoid this fee. We totally understand that developers are tired of sharing profits. And yes, we are aware that Discord is another launcher but we truly want to fix this problem for players and avoid this. We want less launchers and more cooperation and I believe Discord can create this environment.”
Discord probably also wants money, no matter how altruistic the company might be trying to seem.
Despite the eye toward growth and apparent ubiquity, Discord will continue to curate its store rather than opening the floodgates. As he has in the past, Citron again said to think of Discord as the “boutique bookstore” of game stores.
It remains to be seen whether this will cause Valve or Epic to reevaluate their approaches. Discord is enormous, boasting 130 million users as of earlier this year, but its store has yet to make many particularly large waves. If Discord has its way, that’s going to change in 2019.