Discord announced earlier this year that it was entering the game-selling business. Part of its plan to compete with the likes of Steam and GOG was to help indie developers launch their games in exchange for timed exclusivity via the First on Discord program. Now the company has revealed the first games debuting with that program, and it turns out the "first on" part might not mean exactly what people think it does.
First on Discord's inaugural batch of games features seven titles: Minion Masters, Mad Machines, Bad North, At Sundown, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption, King of the Hat, and Last Year: The Nightmare. Aside from debuting on Discord, the games don't seem to have much in common. They range from a real-time card game and competitive shooter to a "brutal ball sport game" and "real-time tactics roguelite."
Yet several of these games can already be played. Bad North has already debuted on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Minion Masters has an Early Access edition available on Steam. Several other titles have Steam pages and will be released on consoles later this year. At least for the launch, First on Discord appears to come with a few caveats and developers plan to take full advantage of the timed exclusivity.
Being limited to the Discord Store is the one aspect of the program that seems to be set in stone. Games are supposed to be limited to the company's storefront--at least on PC--for their full release. But even that limitation is vague--Discord said in its original announcement that games would be exclusive to its platform for "usually 90 days." That implies that devs will have wiggle room, but no other details are available.
The company also didn't say exactly when the OG pack of First on Discord games will debut. The Discord Store is currently available in a limited beta, and in its most recent announcement, Discord merely said these games will arrive "later this fall." It's not clear if they'll be released at the same time, if the Discord Store will be generally available before their launch, or when more information about First on Discord will be revealed.
Discord's announcement did highlight the synergy its primary service has with the new storefront. Each of the games listed has an official Discord server where people can discuss the game, communicate with the developers, and chit-chat with people who have a similar taste in games. Eventually many people who buy these games via the Discord Store are likely to play them with friends while using Discord proper.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.