Microsoft's $10 billion bid to buy Discord could close as early as next month

(Image credit: Xbox)

Update - March 26: According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft's $10 billion bid to purchase Discord may be finalized as early as this April.

"Microsoft and Discord are in exclusive talks and could complete a deal next month, assuming the negotiations don’t fall apart," the WSJ reports after speaking with sources familiar with the deal. 

In the days since this deal first surfaced, neither Microsoft nor Discord have publicly acknowledged the potential acquisition. The variety and strength of corroborating sources leaves little room for doubt as to whether it's actually on the table, but the timeline and stakes of the deal remain unconfirmed. 

There's no guarantee that Microsoft and Discord will reach an agreement next month, or indeed at all, and even if the acquisition does go through, we likely won't see any changes to Discord as a service for some time. Even after a price is agreed upon, there would be a lot of paperwork to sign before Discord is officially folded into Microsoft. The acquisition could be a huge boon for the newly renamed Xbox Network, to say nothing of the Windows brand on PC, but Microsoft's plans for Discord remain to be seen. That said, you don't spend $10 billion on a communications app to not beef up your own social network. 

Original story: 

Microsoft is rumored to be buying Discord for over $10 billion, according to multiple sources.

You simply can’t stop Microsoft from buying things these days, and after just closing the deal on its purchase of Bethesda, it is now being linked with a potential purchase of Discord, one of the world’s most popular video game chat apps. 

VentureBeat broke the story that Discord was potentially up for sale yesterday, with its sources stating that it had interest from “multiple parties”, with one source going further and stating that it was in final negotiations with one party. This was corroborated by Bloomberg earlier today, whose own sources revealed that it is Microsoft who is close to sealing the deal.

Discord has been one of the most popular communication tools amongst gamers for years now, and the pandemic has only increased its popularity as people look for ways to stay connected with their friends. Discord is a free service that lets people chat by voice, text, and video and while it’s not exclusively used by gamers, it is hugely important to the gaming community as a place to meet, form groups, and play together. 

It also has premium features including Discord Nitro, which is how the service actually brings in the bucks. And bring them in it does, as The Wall Street Journal reported that Discord brought in $130 million in revenue in 2020, compared to $45 million in 2019.

For its part, Microsoft is no stranger to getting out its wallet. The recent deal to buy Bethesda has been closed and it now looks like a sizeable amount of Bethesda games are going to be exclusive to Xbox and PC platforms. Owning Discord would be another huge consolidation of Microsoft’s power in the gaming space, and we could even see the service integrated more directly into Xbox Live… sorry, the Xbox Network.

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Ian Stokes is an experienced writer and journalist. You'll see his words on GamesRadar+ from time to time, but Ian spends the majority of his time working on other Future Plc publications. He has served as the Reviews Editor for Top Ten Reviews and is currently leading the tech and entertainment sections of LiveScience and as the Tech and Entertainment Editor.