Brave Noob World

Image source: Alexey Boldin - Shutterstock, Discord, Microsoft/Giphy

What's going on?

Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy video game chat platform Discord, presumably once they’ve finished trash-talking each other’s basements.

What does this mean?

And to think your parents thought video games weren’t a productive use of time: Discord has been the go-to for gamers everywhere during the pandemic, and it now has 140 million users to its name – twice as many as in 2019. That’s caught the eye of Microsoft, which reckons Discord would make a good fit for its gaming segment. Such a good fit, in fact, that it’s reportedly willing to pay more than $10 billion for the company – a nice bump from the $7 billion it was worth in December. Of course, whether Discord feels the same way remains to be seen: the platform might end up opting for another buyer, if not going it alone via an initial public offering.

Why should I care?

For markets: Video games aren’t playing around any more. 

Microsoft’s move is even more evidence that it’s looking to expand its games business, after having made its biggest gaming acquisition ever in the form of ZeniMax Media – owner of video game publisher Bethesda – for $7.5 billion (tweet this). And it’s not hard to see why the tech giant’s suddenly so keen: video games are expected to have made more money last year than the global movie and North American sports industries combined.

The bigger picture: Mobile games are the future.

The gaming boom isn’t lost on China’s ByteDance either: the TikTok-owner just agreed to buy Chinese games studio Moonton – famous among younger and more in-touch people for its Mobile Legends game – for $4 billion. That move will help ByteDance diversify its income streams beyond advertising, as well as secure a slice of the mobile gaming market – the biggest and, according to investment manager VanEck, fastest-growing category in the games industry.


Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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