Discord appears to have quietly packed away its indie-centric storefront.
The communication platform opened its promising new digital storefront in October last year, with optimism that it could take advantage of its sizeable userbase and existing use as a marketing tool to bring developers closer to their customers.
But in a blog post and subsequent update this week, Discord has pivoted towards letting developers sell games directly through servers through “store channels” and provided a host of additional analytics tools.
As Discord becomes more popular with indies for marketing and building communities, this makes sense. But the move towards more server-driven sales has seen Discord nix its Store tab, replacing it with a Nitro tab - a subscription service that (among other benefits) provides access to Discord’s Nitro catalogue of games.
“With game commerce shifting to communities, we’ve decided to replace the store tab with our Nitro games catalogue,” said Discord. “For players, finding and buying games now happens through servers. Your library remains untouched by these changes.”
While enhancing Discord’s value to indies, it does seem to put an end to the thread the Discord Store could have once posed to Steam.
Despite a generous 90/10 revenue split and a sizeable userbase to build off, Discord may have found itself the victim of poor timing. Before the year could close, Fortnite creator Epic Games opened its own store, redefining the conversation around digital sales platforms.
As the storefront discourse continues to heat up, maybe it makes sense for Discord to double-down on its community-centric expertise.