A few months ago, Discord announced a game store to compete with Valve's Steam service. This was part of a back-and-forth between the companies, which started with Steam trying to clone Discord's core product: chat. The store launched initially in Canada alone for testing, but this week has grown their market to cover the globe. This means that all of Discord's 150 million users now have access to the curated collection of indie games.
That is what sets Discord's store apart from Steam: while Steam runs its business like Barnes & Noble, Discord intends to be more like your neighborhood bookstore. Content will be curated, with employees having an opportunity to write about why a game is great and why it is in the collection. Think of it like a review site where the reviewers are so committed to their beliefs that they agree to sell the products.
In addition to launching worldwide, the company also announced the initial First on Discord titles. These games will premiere on the Discord store, usually for 90 days, before being made available on other platforms (read Steam). Those titles are AT SUNDOWN by Mild Best/Versus Evil, Bad North by Raw Fury, King of the Hat by Business Corp. Incorporated, Minion Masters by Beta Dwarf, and Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption by Another Indie. Ben Palevsky, VP of Business Corp Incorporated, said of their partnership with Discord,
Being a First on Discord title is an opportunity to bring King of the Hat directly to our community in the place where we know they spend their time. It's amazing to watch people forge new friendships while playing and for us to connect with that community in real-time in our official server.
On top of the store and First on Discord, the upgraded Nitro service also went live. Rather than the former $5 monthly fee for emotes and other chat features, the new service costs $10 per month and adds unlimited access to 60 titles. This works similar to the Xbox Game Pass, including offering a fairly exciting lineup of games, featuring Limbo, Super Meat Boy, and Wasteland 2: Directors Cut.
You can try any and all of the features directly in the Discord app now. It will be interesting to see if this makes any dent in Steam's dominance, or if the addition of another store will simply increase the overall game buying industry.