Discord to remove free games from its Nitro subscription service

While known more for being a communication service, Discord also offers free games as part of its Nitro subscription service. Or at least, it will until next month. The company recently announced that Discord Nitro would no longer have free games starting on October 15, 2019.

The company made the announcement as part of a recent blog post on its official website. Here, the team stated that the reason it was doing this was because the majority of Discord Nitro subscribers weren’t actually taking advantage of the Nitro Games catalog.

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“Through your valuable feedback, it became clear that while we and some of you love these games, the truth is the vast majority of Nitro subscribers didn’t play them,” stated the announcement. “So, after careful consideration, we won’t be hitting Continue when these contracts come up for renewal. The Nitro Games catalogue will be removed on October 15th, 2019.”

The service added the Nitro Games catalog on October 16 of last year as part of the global launch of the Discord Games Store. This means that the removal of Nitro Games comes exactly one year after it was launched.

Despite the relative lack of people taking advantage of the Nitro Games catalog, Discord seems to acknowledge that there may be some folks who’ll be disappointed by the decision to drop the feature. As such, the company stated that it is willing to offer refunds to these players. That said, the Nitro subscription service itself will still be continuing.

Launched back in 2016, the Nitro offers a number of extra features not available to free users. These include the ability to created animated GIF avatars, use custom emotes, utilize higher resolutions and frame rates on the application’s Go Live live streaming feature, and boost specific Discord servers while increasing user’s upload caps for individual files from 8mb to 50mb.

Aside from all these, the a Nitro subscription also gave players access to Nitro Game Perks. These were special in-game perks that were given to Nitro subscribers inside certain games. These perks will not be affected by the removal of Nitro Games, and players will still be able to access them.

While Discord is removing the Nitro Games catalog, the company will not be removing any games that players have purchased. Additionally, the announcement makes no mention of any changes to the Discord Games Store itself, indicating that it’ll most likely remain open for business.

Discord originally launched its games store back in August of last year. Back then, it looked like the company wanted to create a rival to Valve’s Steam, taking advantage of the large number of gamers using their app. However, since then the store itself has mostly been filled with older games and indie titles. It looks like somewhere along the line, Discord realized that it didn’t have the ability or resources to compete with other services, especially as others, including newcomer Epic, were able to bolster their storefronts with exclusive games. More importantly, the games subscription service segment looks to become quite crowded soon with the impending entry of tech giants Apple and Google.

With the removal of the Nitro Games catalog, Discord now looks to double down on its existing strengths for its subscription service. “We’re going to double-down on making sure Nitro nails its mission: more features, fun, and enhancements for hanging out in Discord with the people you care about,” stated the announcement.  As part of this, the development team will be increasing the file size cap for individual uploads to 100mb. This is on top of changes to the server boosting system that makes it easier to earn levels. More importantly, the company confirmed that it has other ideas in the works for subscribers.