Discord bullish about its platform after dropping free games from Nitro subscription service

Discord bullish about its platform after dropping free games from Nitro subscription service

Communications platform Discord has said that more people than ever are using its service in the wake of the company dropping free games from its Nitro subscription service.

Speaking to, CTO Stanislaw Vishnevskiy said that Discord's focus now is building up the core communications platform rather than giving its users free games. In May 2019, the service boasted 250m users, with a round of investment at the end of last year giving Discord a $2.05bn valuation.

Discord rolled out its storefront last year, with the model seemingly being that it has millions of users coming to its platform every single day so it could make the most of that engaged audience with selling games. The company quietly closed its storefront earlier this year, with developers still able to sell direct via official servers.  

"We are so excited about the number of users who have subscribed to Nitro and are lucky to have built an open relationship with them that means we get honest ongoing feedback around what we can do better," he explained.

"With their input, it was easy to understand that what users love most about Discord is having a personal space to talk with the people they care about. While we love these games, we're now focused on building more features around the core Discord experience."

He added: "More people than ever are using Discord to talk with their friends and communities. Our plan is to develop more features that strengthen these connections. Our users are excited about Nitro we want to focus on making more of the things they love."

Vishnevskiy also confirmed that the changes to Discord Nitro are not affecting games being sold to consumers directly from developers' official servers.

"These changes do not impact in-server commerce and the ability for devs to sell directly to their consumers at all," he said.

He continued: "Our biggest lesson [from Discord's time selling games] is that users look for their content in servers and developers want more agency over their ability to distribute their games. We want to make that as easy as possible for both the people making the content and the those looking for it."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.