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Microsoft could close on $10 billion Discord acquisition as soon as next month

Discord Windows Lede 1
Discord Windows Lede 1 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • WSJ reports that Microsoft and Discord are in exclusive talks to acquire the chat service.
  • A deal could be agreed as soon as next month.
  • Discord is looking to sell for more than $10 billion.

A new report from Wall Street Journalis claiming that Microsoft is in exclusive talks to acquire Discord for $10 billion, and that a deal could be agreed as soon as next month. The news comes just days after it was revealed that Discord was looking to sell, and that Microsoft was a potential buyer alongside Epic Games and others.

Discord would be an incredibly valuable asset for Microsoft's continued Xbox efforts, which has seen the company acquire many big name Game Studios in the last couple of years to boost its successful Xbox Game Pass subscription. Microsoft could use Discord as a backbone for the Xbox network, allowing gamers to communicate across Xbox and PC platforms in and out of games.

Microsoft has been trying to acquire a community driven platform for some months. Last year, the company was in the running to acquire TikTok, and more recent rumors suggested the company was interested in acquiring Pinterest too. Discord is an incredibly popular community driven platform, and would fit right in with Microsoft's gaming portfolio.

Discord is rumored to be looking to sell for more than $10 billion. If true, this would make Discord one of Microsoft's more expensive acquisitions, with LinkedIn coming in at number one with a sale price of $26.6 billion.

Although the two companies are in exclusive talks, nothing is set-in-stone until a deal is actually made. We may not have to wait long for a result, as the Wall Street Journal claims that the deal could be closed as soon as next month. The deal would then need to get approval from regulating bodies before it could be deemed "official."

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Microsoft acquiring Discord? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

25 Comments
  • Wait. Discord worth more than Zenimax? Never would've guessed that.
  • Operating costs, methinks.
    BETHESDA has a ton of employees and needs big, regular captal investments to run. Payouts are equally big but a lot of the value in in the staff. Plus it has a *lot* of peer competitors.
    Discord is going to be cheaper to run and it has a broader customer base; it's not just about gaming. The thing is all over.
  • It's a social media juggernaut that touches every last game possible, even exclusives on other platforms and potential to extend to non-gaming groups with ease. Not to mention Microsoft NEEDS them way more they Discord needs Microsoft. They knew they could ask that much and get it. Just look at how quickly talks went exclusive. Discord went into this knowing a) it's time to sell while they're on top and 2) Microsoft was their target as soon as it was conceived to sell. With their failure to grab Tik Tok still fresh in the mind of the marketplace, any talk about other suitors or going public was just to pad that assurance. They're no dummies and as far as Nadella and Spencer are concerned, it's a bargain at any price. Microsoft has learned from their massive mistakes with Skype and Beam/Mixer and if they have even half a brain cell they won't touch it just like Linked-In and Github. All those Discord accounts becoming Microsoft accounts just one click away from subscribing to Game Pass... Oh yeah, it's worth the 10. I'm hopeful the plan is to integrate it into the "new" Xbox network like Minecraft did into Azure (it's on Google now if you were unaware), but otherwise make every effort to let the community direct its fate. Just God, please, don't try to rebuild it into oblivion. That would be the true cost they can't afford.
  • This! If they learn from their past mistakes, they should do that. If they want to incorporate Discord's technology into XBox, they should build some bridge in between, not tearing apart the Discord itself.
  • Being able to join a discord channel on Xbox natively would be incredible for cross platform gaming.
  • MS didn't use to do "wholly owned subsidiaries" but lately they've come to see value in allowing acquisitions a bit more independence instead of trying to fold everything into a single continuum. That idependence is often a big part of the unit's value.
    As stated, a DISCORD folded into XBOX is less valuable than a DISCORD with tentacles everywhere, in the Sony, Nintendo, and mobile world.
  • Indeed. It also makes them less of a target in yes of monopolistic accusations. Being diversified is good for sustained profit as well
  • MS is the only big tech company with no antitrust issues (so far).
    And they are ridiculously diversified, with 20 different businesses bring in over a billion a year gross.
    Most are closely tied so nobody realizes how many they are. Amazon, oddly enough, keeps their units loose and they also go mostly unoticed yet they get tons of flack for tbe *least* profitable side of the Empire.
    Activists are weird.
  • Okay. Never thought about it like that. Thanks.
  • If Microsoft gets Discord, this would be one of the most consumer facing brand they acquire as of recent. It has pretty wide reach beyond gaming, especially for online clubs and simply another chat platform among friends. Microsoft don't need Teams for Life once they got Discord. Or at least until Discord expand functionality that Teams for Life have like calendar sharing, etc. Only question is, what will happen to Skype? Or what's its future? It's easy to see Discord will replace Xbox chat. But not sure with Skype. For the meantime, they can Co-exist since Discord is still known for gaming chat purposes and some online clubs. While Skype is more on personal communication and video calling, though this is already been overshadowed by other popular services now. Skype still kicking due to active users which is respectably hight.
  • Skype is for calling landlines and cell phone numbers from a data-plan or from a computer with wifi; in the future paying for pure data plans will be all people need; paying internet/phone providers for cell phone and texting plans is becoming more pointless every year. Change is always slow so Skype gives a decent bridge to connect with people who are still riding on phone/texting plans with no data. Aside from that its just a cross platform version of Facetime.
  • Skype for Business is already gone in favor of Teams. With Teams for Life, the handwriting is on the wall for Skype consumer, unless Teams for Life (what a name) fails to take off, which admittedly isn't that unlikely. Even then, Skype is so tarnished at this point, they will likely just go with the flow and let it fade, it can't be very relevant as a business, and there is certainly no hope it can rebound as a brand. Microsoft probably simply doesn't have the competitive position to maintain a consumer contact app. These apps probably don't make money on their own, they need to be wrapped into some larger consumer business model, and Microsoft does not have such a thing, except Xbox, which would make stuff that can be integrated there like Discord relevant, but not Skype since it can't really be integrated into Xbox from a brand standpoint. But they can certainly use Skype tech as part of the back end for those efforts just like they have done for Teams. So maybe that technical positioning makes Discord even more attractive to them; they have just the back end engine to plug into it and juice it up.
  • The problem with Teams for Life, it's basically overkill for more simple communications, overkill for most families and for my friends, we already have Discord. So I don't even see Teams for Life even replacing Skype, which is still more consumer facing and used by many, its not that as popular or trendy to use these days and many have moved to other services full time. My friends and family practically moved over from Skype now. Friends usually on Discord and Facebook and families practically now all Facebook. Skype is been forgotten or barely used. But of course its not true for everybody, but it is a trend that Skype is slowly diminishing. If Discord come to Microsoft, there will be 3 communication service: Skype, Discord and Teams. The former is still more consumer but Kinda dwindling, the latter is enterprise, and the middle is usually consumer, but I've seen being used on some businesses as well as an alternative to Slack. Though it makes me question the future of Skype once Discord is under Microsoft familly. Not because it may be killed, but how it will evolved if ever. For now its clear Discord is usually meant for gaming and clubs. I think Discord would be the closest thing for Microsoft having some form of social network that is not business oriented and streaming without directly competing to Twitch, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming. But streaming on Discrod is more of a gateway on those services instead.
  • XBL is a social network. And a pretty big one. But just for gaming and only on XBOX.
    Discord has broader reach. The likely outcome of a post-acquisition MS would be Teams for enterprise and Discord for Consumer and small business a feature of either XBL or Gamepass. Most likely the latter. Skype might remain as a legacy brand but most likely be sunset. The the underlying gech has already been mined and used to jumpstart teams.
  • How'd that Nokia thing work out?
  • Didn’t matter, they just didn’t want them making incredible android phones, and in that they did succeed.. but for anything outside that and Mixer, they definitely incorporated them well and made them even more valued and appreciated. Faks
  • Of all the Microsoft acquisitions you could have named you went for the one with the absolute least relevance to the conversation, congratulations
  • Discord is a platform for communications and a tool for building communications networks (with a public API, no less) and MS is all about tools and platforms.
    Discord has a paid subscription option, Nitro. MS is growing very fond of subscriptions. :D Nokia was neither. The more I look into this possible deal, the more sense it makes.
    One way it makes a ton of sense for *both* is to offer Nitro as a perk of GamePass Ultimate (in addition to the standalone Nitro subscription) and of Microsoft 365. Added value to the subscriptions, added users to Discord. Much like with Bethesda joining MS there is real value for Discord in this (proposed) deal beyond the bounty of money. Now to see if they can come to terms.
  • A 3 month trial of Nitro already is a perk of Games Pass Ultimate. I've been using it for a couple months now. Giving Nitro for free could have a similar effect that a free monthly subscription on Twitch did from Amazon Prime. Boast Discord, and also add value to Games Pass.
  • Did not know that: so they have a pre-existing connection.
    Makes it seem like the "other" big buy being rumored to follow Zenimax never was a game studio (Sega or whatever) but instead Discord. Which is to say, they didn't start dancing recently.
    Plus, "next month" starts in days.
    Hmmm...
  • I play games put exclusively single-player, so I'm not really au fait with what's what in the online gaming world. I'm wondering whether there could have been some synergy between Discord and Mixer in order to boost the latter, if it was still a thing. Anyone have a grounded opinion on that?
  • It has been suggested that Discord could add game streaming using the Mixer tech.
    Mixer had the tech but not the community; Discord has the community but not the feature.
    MS missed out on Twitch when it went to Amazon so Discord might be their second chance at that.
  • I guess that makes sense. No reason the existing tech couldn't be incorporated into another existing trusted brand.
  • Just keep your mitts off the community Microsoft. Let it be.
  • They seem to understand that: look at GitHub.
    They are paying $10B for access to that community; it would be counterproductive to do anything to imperil it.
    That is probably the third most important topic under discussion. 😁