The Discord game store that was opened to a bunch of Canadians back in August is now available to everyone, as the global beta of the store and Nitro subscription service got underway today. The initial lineup of games available for purchase is a small, curated selection of titles including Frostpunk, Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-Stered, Subnautica, and Pillars of Eternity 2, plus a handful of "First on Discord" games that aren't available on other platforms.
"Discord's always been about bringing people together around games. Now, we're bringing games to people with our curated game store and Nitro game subscription service," Discord co-founder and CEO Jason Citron said. "We are really excited to help amazing developers get their games out to the market and help players find great new content."
The mix of a multi-function chat platform with an online store is a little overwhelming (for me, at least), but the store pages themselves are clearly laid out, with the usual array of info—a detailed description, bullet-point breakdowns of features, system requirements and so forth—and some nice extras, like a "why you might like it" blurb and a "Staff Pick" quote. The initial selection of games is tiny, but on the other hand you don't have to dig through a mountain of stuff like Maybe Drinking. Russian Style or Boobserman to find something you actually want to play.
Discord's Nitro program will work much like Origin Access: For $10 per month, subscribers will have on-demand access to a selection of more than 60 games. Discord said that new games will be added "at a regular cadence to keep the Nitro library fresh and growing," and while some games may be rotated out when contracts expire, cloud save data will be retained. A Nitro Classic option, with animated avatars, selectable tags, larger file upload limit (50BM instead of 8MB), and other features—everything but the games, in other words—is also available for $5 per month.
One kind of odd thing about Nitro is that most of the games accessible through the service are not available for purchase through the Discord store. I've asked if they'll eventually be rolled into the store lineup, and will let you know if I receive a reply.
Discord also launched the universal game-launcher tab that was announced at the same time as the Discord Store. The "Library" option is available from the "home" link in the Discord app, but it seems a bit hit-or-miss: The import process was simple and fast, but it failed to pick up some of my games, including Bard's Tale 4, The Tiny Bang Story, and You Must Build a Boat. It is in beta, though, so some allowances have to be made. We'll have a closer look at the big update, including the store, what it does, and how to use it, coming your way soon.