Chart of the Week: Can Discord Compete with Steam?

Last month, Discord formally launched its online game store globally making it a direct competitor to Steam and other online game marketplaces. Discord has grown rapidly over the past two years becoming to go to chat service for gaming communities online, while Steam has been the dominant online game marketplace.

Given Discord’s new online game marketplace, we decided to look at how they compare to some of the other major online game stores in terms of reach, and specifically how many of Discord’s users are currently using another store.

How does Discord measure up to the competition?

To understand how well Discord lines up with its competitors, we compared Discord to two of the major online gaming stores: Steam and Battle.net and looked at growth along with cross visitation among U.S. adults ages 18 and over.

Among the three top online marketplaces, Steam and Discord both have increased their reach since January 2017 as the chart below shows. Steam grew from reaching 8% of the U.S. online population in 2017 to 11% by October 2018. On the other hand, Discord has tripled its reach going from only 2.6% of the US online 18+ population to 9% in the same time period.

While Discord’s growth in terms of reach is impressive, the app’s primary function has been for online communication. Given this, we wanted to understand what percentage of Discord’s audience is unique and what percent is already using other gaming marketplaces to better understand Discord’s potential. Using Verto Watch data we discovered that over half of Discord’s audience used Steam and 21% of their audience used Battle.net in October 2018.

So, what does this all mean? Verto’s data tells us that despite Discord’s major growth, it has an uphill battle in front of it to try and win over the majority of its users from Steam. That said, there’s still a major opportunity in front of Discord as the remaining 41.5% are prime prospects for them. Discord will likely need to differentiate their online game marketplace in order to convert the 58.5% of their audience that used Steam into Discord customers and looking at their users that aren’t actively using Steam may help them to do so.

This Chart of the Week was created using Verto Watch. Interested in the latest insights on consumer behavior and gaming? Sign up for our newsletter.