The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global playing field. It introduced the "new normal" working environment. It boosted gaming companies' prospects as people stayed at home and turned to online Video Games for entertainment during months of lockdowns. And also forced big tech companies, like Microsoft, to double down their investments in video games and online community platforms.

This week, Bloomberg News reported that Microsoft was looking to purchase Discord, the popular voice chat platform for building online gaming communities, at a value estimated at a whopping $10 billion.

Microsoft gets aggressive and takes the bid

According to Bloomberg, the Redmond-based software company is in serious talks with the widely-popular instant messaging and online community platform. The tech giant is reportedly one of the frontrunners when it comes to acquiring the voice chat platform. Other tech giants that are rumored to be interested in acquiring Discord are Epic Games, the widely popular online battle royale game Fortnite, and Seattle-based tech giant Amazon. The popular video-sharing app has tried to reach out to potential buyers, including Microsoft. However, Bloomberg News reported earlier that Discord was more likely to go with its IPO (initial public offering) than sell itself with big tech companies like Microsoft.

Microsoft has been looking to strengthen its positions in the online gaming market and mass social media platforms. The company has made many big game acquisitions in the past years, including the monstrous $26.2 billion acquisition of Linkedin in 2016 and the $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media (Bethesda) last year. The software firm has made multiple acquisitions, with big and well-established platforms making.

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Discord a logical next step. Last September, Microsoft suffered a major blow when it failed to bid for the Chinese-owned short video app TikTok. The hugely popular video-sharing app has rejected Microsoft’s bid to buy TikTok’s US operations, paving the way for enterprise software giant Oracle to secure a last-minute deal to buy the video-sharing app from Chinese firm ByteDance.

A close at Discord, the billion-dollar voice chat platform

First introduced in May 2015, Discord is an instant messaging, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), and digital distribution platform designed for creating private and public communities. The instant messaging platform runs on Android, Linux, iOS, macOS, Windows, and web browsers. It provides users access to tools focused on communication services like media files, text messaging, voice calls, and video calls. Users communicate through private chat rooms or online communities, which are called servers.