After initial reports placed Microsoft in early talks to acquire Discord, it appears those talks have advanced to the point where a deal could be closed by the end of April.
The Wall Street Journal reported Microsoft and Discord have now entered exclusive talks that might lead to the communication platform being purchased for “$10 billion or more.”
Previous reports from GamesBeat and Bloomberg said Discord had no immediate plans to sell, but it appears talks with Microsoft have potentially shifted that decision. The Bloomberg report said the early conversations with the Discord team were being led by Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox. Bloomberg also reported Discord held discussions with Epic Games and Amazon.
Microsoft has made its willingness to try and acquire additional assets, specifically well-known online brands very clear over the last several months. With the successful purchase of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, and making an offer to purchase TikTok last year, the company is aggressively trying to increase its presence in consumer media.
Discord recorded over 140 million monthly active users late in 2020 and is a community hub for multiple different demographics, which has only continued to grow over time. WSJ notes that the platform not only grew its userbase but also nearly tripled its revenue to around $130 million last year.
Should a deal be reached, Microsoft would be able to integrate Discord into its gaming and communication ecosystem, which could potentially allow the players to use the app on Xbox consoles to communicate with PC players natively as an alternative to basic party chats. The company has also previously partnered with Discord to offer perks as part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, including three months of Discord Nitro to its subscribers.
No deal has been officially confirmed, but WSJ reports that something could get done within the next month.