Microsoft’s talks to acquire messaging platform Discord have reportedly progressed to an advanced stage, as the pair discuss a potential $10 billion deal.
That’s according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, which corroborates Bloomberg’s earlier scoop and claims that the discussions with Microsoft are “exclusive” talks which could see a deal complete as soon as next month.
Buying Discord could help Microsoft boost both its video game business and its social-networking footprint, the WSJ says. Should the deal happen, it would be the Xbox parent’s largest acquisition since its $26.6 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corp. in 2016.
According to the earlier Bloomberg report, Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer is part of the discussions with Discord.
Discord was founded in 2015 as a platform for video game players to chat while playing online. Today, it has over 140 million monthly users, with many communities dedicated to a range of topics related to gaming and beyond.
The platform received a rebrand last summer as the company attempted to move away from its focus on gaming and attract a wider audience.
Analysts say Microsoft may want to buy Discord so it can add the service’s premium version, Discord Nitro, as a perk for subscribing to Xbox Game Pass.
“Microsoft possibly acquiring Discord makes a lot of sense as it continues to reshape its gaming business more toward software and services,” said Bloomberg’s intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman.
“There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subscriptions from the last reported 18 million… We expect Xbox to remain acquisitive to keep bolstering the value proposition of Game Pass and drive subscriptions higher.”