Discord Confirms Layoffs After Internal Restructuring

Discord, one of the best-known video chat and instant messaging platforms in the video game sector, has confirmed the application of a dismissal process that affects part of its workforce. This internal restructuring has been described as “complicated” by one of the company’s representatives.

The business, born in 2015, has had an exponential growth since then, extending as an almost inescapable communication tool for streamers and other content creators for its facilities of voice over IP options available.

A Discord representative made the following statement to GamesIndustry.

Yesterday, we made an active shift in the talent needs of our marketing department to better serve our growing business and future ambitions. As part of this, some difficult personnel decisions had to be made to meet these goals.

The truth is that Discord has had a really complicated 2018 year. After overcoming the barrier of 250 million registered users, last September they canceled their subscription service, Discord Nitro, which allowed access to different video games through a monthly payment. The company wrote in its blog that users were not playing the games in the Nitro subscription.

Discord made headlines last December when they changed the policy of percentage of profits that the developers who published their video games took on their platform, a kind of counterattack to Steam and Epic Games Store after their two changes at the end of last year.

Thus, in Steam they divided the income by 70% for the developer and 30% for Valve. However, as of 2019, this variable changed by offering 75% for the publisher and 25% for Valve as long as the game manages to exceed 10 million dollars.

If the success is even greater, with 50 million dollars, Valve will receive 20% and the publisher will get the remaining 80%. The situation did not please the small studios, especially for those who know they won’t achieve that goal.

Epic Games Store then took a blow and won the support of not a few studios, but both independent and high-budget studios by raising the percentage to 88% for the developer. The developers get 88% of each sale, while Epic Games now take 12% at the rate of royalties.

Discord tried to be the most attractive of all with a 90% profit for the development studio. However, the low market share in terms of unique users has prevented the plan from achieving the desired success.

In other news, the sales of independent video games on Steam have fallen by 70% so far in 2019, while net profits have also been reduced by 47%, ahead of an analytical report by No More Robots, founded by Mike Rose.

The dominance of Steam in the digital distribution of video games is fading away slowly, especially after the arrival of the Epic Games Store (which gives away games every week). This has resulted in a gradual fall of interest for independent development studios; they no longer find a reason to continue betting only on Valve’s solution.