Microsoft's Dream Of Buying Discord Is Dashed As Deal Talks Come To An Abrupt End
Were you worried that Microsoft would ruin Discord if a deal went through? If so, you can rest easy—Discord is no longer for sale, apparently, having ended discussions with Microsoft about a massive buyout offer. It's not just Microsoft, either. It seems Discord is no longer interested in being acquired, after seeing a big uptick in users during the pandemic.
Microsoft tried to make it happen, according to previous reports. The company was said to have offered at least $10 billion in a bid to buy Discord, which would have been the latest in a growing line of massive acquisitions.
Last month, for example, Microsoft received regulatory approval to move forward with a $7.5 billion buyout of ZeniMax, which owns Bethesda. That's the same amount it paid to acquire GitHub, and before that, Microsoft ponied up $26.2 billion for LinkedIn, and $2.5 billion for Mojang.
Unless talks kick back up, which is a possibility, Discord will forge ahead on its own towards an eventual initial public offering (IPO). Discord may have felt emboldened to turn down such a big payday because it saw significant growth in its active user numbers last year, which doubled to 140 million, the company announced last December.
"We are humbled and honored by the growth we’ve seen among so many incredible and diverse communities that have made Discord their place to hang out," Discord CEO Jason Citron said last December. "As we look to 2021, we are excited about what we have in store and plan to use this funding to help make Discord even better—both for our free service and our Nitro subscribers."
People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Discord had interest from at least three companies, but because it is doing so well, the messaging service wants to fly solo for the time being, and possibly go public.
In addition to member growth, Discord has seen its revenue jump from nearly $45 million in 2019 to $120 million in 2020. Be that as it may, Discord has not yet turned a profit.
Microsoft has to be disappointed in the decision. Discord is the go-to chat client for gamers, and with Microsoft so heavily invested in PC and console gaming, it probably had big plans for Discord, if it could have struck a deal.