Microsoft rumored to be in talks to buy Discord for more than $10 billion

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

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire Discord.
  • Talks are in early stages at the moment.
  • Discord is looking to sell for more than $10 billion.

Earlier today, news broke that Discord was looking to sell to a willing buyer for more than $10 billion. The report was light on details regarding which companies were interested, but now Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is in the running. The report claims that talks are still in early stages, so nothing is a done deal, but that Microsoft is definitely interested.

Discord is likely in talks with multiple companies about a possible deal, with reports suggesting a sale is still in its infancy stages meaning it could be a while before a deal is actually closed. There's no guaranteeing Microsoft would be the winning bid, but as our Senior Xbox Editor Jez Corden recently wrote, Microsoft can't let this one slip away, especially for its Xbox efforts.

Discord would be a valuable asset for Microsoft and Xbox. Discord is popular with PC gamers, with over 140 million active users. Assuming Microsoft did acquire Discord, it would likely treat the service like its LinkedIn or GitHub acquisitions, allowing Discord to continue operating on its own, but integrating Discord and Discord tech into other Microsoft products to enhance the Microsoft ecosystem as a whole.

For now, it's very early days and the deal could still go to a number of other companies, or Discord could ultimately decide to go public. But Microsoft could really use a consumer-facing chat platform that has actual users, unlike Microsoft Teams for Consumers or Skype which has seen usage decline significantly in recent years.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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

  • I just have to say I am completely against Microsoft purchasing discord. They completely destroyed mixer AKA beam. Failed with Nokia. I personally think they have a horrible track record when it comes to consumer brands. Where's the innovation in Skype? Instead everyone talks about zoom. I think they need to stick to what they're good at and not press into other brands anymore
  • You forget things like Minecraft (Mojang), LinkedIn, and Github, which are all doing very well and making a lot of money. Those deals dwarf Nokia and Skype and Beam all combined. LinkedIn itself was $26B, while Nokia was just $7B.
  • That doesn't mean some things can't work out but neither Linkedin and github aren't really consumer services/products. Minecraft was already well established, although they generate revenue... its a long road for a ROI for that $2 bills. Microsoft is down to purchasing competitors instead actually making something imo... they and other tech companies need to be broken up. As far as Microsoft's track record in the consumer space, its horrible.... just because there might be a few acquisitions that have continued success really doesn't change that. To be honest, I'm not sure how you guys generate as many clicks... the consumer side of the house is basically dead for Microsoft. If one is interested in Office cloud products/services... I guess one could consider MS. As far as the consumer, they left and generally aren't coming back.
  • Microsoft has already recovered its investment in Minecraft and then some and Mojang studios is branching off into other IP such as Dungeons and Mobile games... Minecraft is still the #1 game out there...
  • Probably not even close to being #1 by revenue, the games normally sells $19.99, they probably make some money via DLC... its a long-term ROI at best for $2 bill. For the most part Microsoft is a huge failure in the consumer space, which is my point. Not that they can't make things work that they purchase. Generally, Microsoft sucks at this. They buy **** and it goes down hill, and the almost never develop something within that works in the consumer space. Heck, there is almost nothing left.
  • Game studios being the exception
  • Is that a joke? Their history in game studios acquisitions has been horrible, closed studios, cancelled third party exclusives... that is the whole reason they went on the studio buying spree the last few years. Their ability to either internally develop games or acquire studios and manage game projects is horrible over the last 20 years. They are simply throwing money at something, but throwing money doesn't make anything successful. Microsoft isn't simply not good at the consumer side of the business, I would they are terrible at it. (see history) Anyone can come up with an idea or copy... its the execution that is important.
  • > LinkedIn itself was $26B, while Nokia was just $7B. Following your logic Discord is fairly likely to be salvaged for parts and fade into oblivion, because $10B are much closer to $7B than to $26B... or did I miss your point?
  • GitHub hasn't been recent enough to say how it will end up. The big concern with Discord, rightly so, is that it's a consumer-facing platform, which is where Microsoft's struggles have been greatest. LinkedIn goes better with Microsoft's enterprise-focused stuff, where they do better. They messed up Skype and Mixer, two social media platforms. They messed up Nokia, a purchase centered on their ability to make headway in consumer mobile spaces. Go beyond purchasing companies, and it doesn't look at lot better. They've been spending the last 5 years trying to turn the boat around on Xbox, whose perception among consumers got pretty badly tarnished. Management of Zune was pretty poor, and it carried over into Xbox Music and Groove Music after. Band was mismanaged and both birthed and killed with seemingly little work between those two actions. Cortana, in my opinion, crumbled under their half-hearted work in mobile--the biggest failure on their part with consumers. It's less about "Microsoft can't make a good acquisition" and more "Microsoft is really good at making mistakes with consumer-focused platforms, devices, and services," other than Surfaces.
  • Not to contradict your point, but rather to complement it -- their acquisition of Acompli was a success... now whether current users of Discord will be happy with that kind of success is a different question.
  • Have we really reached the point where we casually say things like "it was just $7 Billion..." $7 Billion is freaking TONNE of money. It could literally save and change the lives of millions and millions of impoverished people all over the world. Any company that burns that kind of money on stupid, ill advised and poorly managed mergers is being run by dunderheads
  • still not that much for such a big company lol
  • Agree with Daniel here 100%, and don't forget that Satya didn't agree with the plan to purchase Nokia. For many in the company it was seen as a way to keep Windows Mobile alive, but the fact is that there was little that was going to be done to sway the users away from iOS and Android. As far a Mixer, I genuinely think they gave it an honest attempt at first. Twitch is simply too big. With Amazon behind it, they had tie ins that Microsoft couldn't compete with. I mean just the free subs with Prime are huge for streamers, and it helps keep costs down for viewers. I think the writing on the wall was there for Mixer and they made these huge exclusive deals in attempt to stall the inevitable. The only one that I will completely agree with you on is Skype. There is no reason that it should be in the state it currently is.
  • It's kind of funny because if Microsoft hadn't bought Nokia, Windows Mobile probably would have survived for longer as it had been surviving up until then solely on Nokia purists pretty much.
  • It was the other execs who was against a consumer phone product. They were in-fighting against Steve Ballmer(my opinion) at the time had they kept the patience with WP like they did with the X-box Microsoft would have had a nice slice of the smartphone market by now.
  • And Skype was a Ballmer acquisition that's nearly a decade old. Ancient history like that can't really be held against modern Microsoft.
  • Skype still lives on powering products and services and making money and the tech made it into other services. I don't see it as a wasted/bad opportunity - what I do see it as was a community rejection - people bailed because it was Microsoft - not because it got bad/worse... Skype was pervasive - web/phone/mobile/tvs... they may have been encumbered by trying to preserve that ecosystem but i also remember how great it was - xbox/kinect support for skype meant family calls/videos long before facetime - but again - people rejected it - and the kinect. Not sure why.
  • Nadella's Nokia comment was with the benefit of hindsight, and even then he stupidly said "I did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones unless we changed the rules". Yet, somehow Linux is alive. Go figure. Microsoft is spooked by the hatred people developed for it in the 90s. No virtue-signaling CEO is going to exhibit any competitive pride anymore. But Microsoft's biggest problem these days is that it's run like a bunch of competing smaller companies that all hate each other. So when consumers see Microsoft not supporting its own products, they find the Microsoft "ecosystem" less appealing. Say what you will about Apple, but at least when you buy something from them, you know that it was made first and best for the Apple environment.
  • Linux and WP are two entirely different thing. Though both lack consumer adoption
  • "Say what you will about Apple, but at least when you buy something from them, you know that it was made first and best for the Apple environment." Most of their technology is licensed or acquired. Most mainstream example: Siri was supposed to be this wonderful thing built into iOS, built by Apple. It was purchased, taken over completely by Apple, then dumbed down to an insanely useless feature that is not a selling point anymore. Linux is not even part of this conversation as it is huge in the developer side of the world. It is a free, Open Source OS that can be manipulated for specific products. There are a lot of products out there today that are run on linux, but you would never know because it gives the developer the freedom to manipulate it to their needs. It also runs light so is great for web servers. They do everything different than Windows, macOS, etc.
  • Mixer could have given a free subscription for Xbox Game Pass subscribers to use.
  • I agree. I would prefer Microsoft over Apple or Google but I would rather none of those 3 get it. Microsoft completely botched Skype.
  • Skype has always been slow, but it was botched long before Microsoft bought it. At least it offers a way to communicate to phones over a data plan, bypassing antiquated phone plans that add needless cost to our bills.
  • Up until a few years Skype was my goto program for personal and business chatting. Mostly because everyone had it and it worked great. But what they did to it in the last couple of years is bizarre. Last time I tried connecting to friend with it we both had to endure lengthily updates then neither of us could get it working after that and the UI was completely different and it was not an improvement by any means.
  • Did Microsoft really destroy Beam/Mixer though? I was under the impression that Microsoft were relatively hands-off and it was their own leadership that were to blame. I'm also not sure that Mixer even got worse, but really just failed to grow into the Twitch competitor that they'd hoped it would. I could well be wrong about that though. I didn't follow the whole thing too closely.
  • If Microsoft would just take a little time to update Groupme there would he no need to buy discord.
  • Microsoft has more than the ability to create a discord clone if they wanted to. They're not buying the software that goes with discord for the most part, they're buying the userbase and brand awareness. That's something you simply can not throw money at to gain.
  • I just want to know why they would buy a service that is directly competing with their own? Mind share?
  • They would likely just absorb the product into their own. Or vice versa to maintain brand awareness.
  • I think user data in chat apps are worth more
  • Zenimax was 7 billion Why is discord worth almost 50% more?
  • You taking online math classes or going into the building?
  • Zenimax isn't that old of a company and honestly wasn't that big - it was valued 2.5b in its prime in 2016 and had some people selling off its stake since then. Then they got into a lawsuit with Facebook on oculus and won and that's all that they have really been known for since... oh.. and a terrible fallout 76 launch. Now, Zenimax had some smart acquisitions to boost their bottom line since their initial 2016 valuation - so its weird that Microsoft ended up owning Doom et all, but i think the 7.5b was an extremely strong offer for the position Zenimax was in. Zenimax hasn't been in explosive growth territory since Xbox one days tbh... Discord is still in explosive growth territory - and it may open them up to new markets/services as well as give them a voice chat platform on windows that could easily integrate with xbox live - and in a weird way there are lots of people moving to discord to replace twitch/streaming/youtube and especially running websites and forums and abandoning FB groups for discord chats... so maybe this is another finger towards facebook - which i'd be fine with... and would potentially be worth more than just a gaming studio that had some hits
  • 😇😇😇I hope Microsoft does get Discord. It will help add to their ecosystem
  • Forums are now part of an ecosystem? LOL
  • discord is instant messanging
  • Cross platform gaming would benefit, which is in a sense an ecosystem.
  • My 12 year old son's reaction... "Oh no".
  • I hope they don't do this... Why not just go for a better voip software and implement it to Xbox ecosystem we will then get a discord clone becuse they already have communitys system that they can fix rooms and so on and chat system but no good voip atm and if they fix that Xbox program overall will get more focus and use. I would like them to buy ts they are atleast twice so strong on the voice part.
  • This purchase would be great for cross platform gaming considering almost all PC gamers use this platform. If Amazon or Epic games ends up with it, like the rumors are saying then their smaller platforms wouldn't benefit from cross platform communication because Nintendo and Sony would end up blocking it in favor of their own "protected" and closed off chat services. Microsoft did mess up with Skype but I think it taught them to let these companies run independently without too much controlling oversight. In addition, Skype was always sluggish which is why people fled to Discord once it came out.
  • Nonononononono...please nononono...they'll buy it and make a big deal out of how clever they were to buy it then remember they're utterly crap at anything that's not business facing then screw it and shut it down nonononononono Microsoft you idiots no