Discord elevates support for game devs with enhanced Quest and Shop tools

Discord is unveiling new tools that aim to simplify the process of building a gaming business and improving its monetization, thanks to expansions to its Quests and Shop tools.

Discord is the popular communication platform that began its journey in 2015 with a mission to bring friends together around games. Now it has evolved into a massive community with hundreds of millions of users.

In a bid to uphold its core value of deepening friendships through gaming, Discord is introducing new tools to support game developers and enhance the gaming experience for its vast user base.

As the gaming landscape has transformed over the years, Discord has witnessed a surge in users playing across multiple devices, accompanied by a prolific rise in the number of game launches annually. Discord alone hosts a staggering 1.5 billion hours of gameplay across more than 60,000 titles each month. While this is a testament to the platform’s success, it poses challenges for game developers striving to make their mark in an increasingly competitive market.

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To address this, Discord has engaged extensively with game developers to explore ways to improve the platform for them.

Peter Sellis, senior vice president of product at Discord, said in an interview with GamesBeat that both projects emerged in the past year, starting with experimentation and now they’re rolling out. One set of items was ephemeral as it was seasonal, and users asked them to be permanet.

“We’ve been gradually hitting a very steady drumbeat of new content, all based on themes that we hear a lot from our users about,” Sellis said. “It started with things like fantasy, cyberpunk. And then we actually just launched anime. Now it’s available to all Discord users and Nitro users get a discount, usually about 20% to 30% discount. And with the Shop coming up soon is third-party IP.”

In each case, Discord splits the proceeds with developers.

Quests as a gateway to discover games

Quests have emerged as a unique way for players to discover games and earn rewards for playing them on Discord. After a successful experimental phase over the last year, Discord is opening up sponsored Quests to more game developers.

These Quests will seamlessly appear in Discord, allowing players to opt-in, stream their game to friends, and win rewards. The sponsored Quests will be an opportunity for developers and publishers to collaborate with Discord in crafting an engaging experience that showcases their games and provides tailored rewards.

One Quest was based on Fortnite and a May the Fourth promotion.

“They are generally following the same kind of structure, which is that we choose a group of users to notify about the Quest,” Sellis said. “Those users can choose to enroll in the Quest and accept their mission. And then some of those users start the Quest which is typically streaming the game to their friends.”

And then the users are rewarded with an item, which is transferred to them via a code that they can redeem in the game.

The Quest has and the reward has to be of pretty high quality for Discord to decide to notify its users of the opportunity, Sellis said, as users don’t want to be bombarded with commercial content. To get a Quest approved, a developer has to offer an in-game reward.

Expanding the Shop: Themed items in collaboration with game devs

Discord's The Shop
Discord’s The Shop helps game devs monetize.

Discord’s Shop, launched last year, has become a hub for users to purchase avatar frames and profile effects.

Building on this, Discord is introducing themed items in collaboration with game developers. Users can expect themed profile effects and avatar decorations in the Shop, aligned with their favorite games. Discord will share the revenue generated from these purchases with developers, offering them a new revenue stream.

Shop initially launched in early access for Nitro users in September 2023, and it opened to all Discord users in November 2023. Discord launched five Quests last year in the experimentation phase.

“We do a pretty good job figuring out some amazing artwork and animations for our users, and we’re fairly certain that the first-party intellectual property from the games they love is going to do quite well,” said Sellis. “The new part of the shop is the third-party intellectual property. And that will be coming shortly.”

While specific games collaborating on these themed items are currently under wraps, Discord promises exciting announcements in the coming weeks.

For developers interested in exploring Quests, the launch page is available for sign-up here. Discord users can anticipate the unveiling of the first Quest and themed Shop items in the coming weeks.

Discord’s bread-and-butter for monetization is still Nitro subscriptions, Sellis said. But these revenue streams should appealing to game publishers. Discord isn’t yet disclosing the exact revenue split between Discord and the game companies.

“The goal is to make Discord an indispensable part of the game development and marketing process,” Sellis said. “There is a push to empower game publishers and developers. We felt like we were in a pretty good spot to solve some of the problems that a lot of game developers have.”

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