Just this past week, it was announced that that Desura—the game marketplace popular with indies unable to publish on Steam—was bought by Bad Juju Games. This comes after Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, acquired the service less than a year and a half ago. This quick shuffling of owners raises some questions, but the important one is: Is the service going to benefit from this?
Having come from XBLIG, myself, I was initially impressed with the Desura experience. From the little bonuses like demographics data and instant sales statistics, to the basic fact that you could actually get a response from the support staff, Desura was superior to XBLIG in pretty much every way. Over time, however, I ran into my fair share of issues—trouble getting a major support issue resolved in a timely manner, annoyances with posting news updates, and disappointment in analytics, to name a few—and my excitement slowly faded into business as usual. Desura didn’t quite become the new XBLIG, but itch.io definitely became my new Desura, as the new service continues to impress.
This changeover brings some new opportunity, however. Judging by the email announcement I received, the folks at Bad Juju are have plans to update and improve the service with “an unprecedented suite of extras”. If they could up their game (get it, game, it’s a game service), I’d be really excited about Desura again. Currently, the only thing Desura has on itch.io is that more people know about it. If they could even get on par with the ease of use, analytics, and sales features that itch.io has—much less offering “the same complex Big Data tools and cloud based services that previously were only available to major industry developers and publishers” as the email claims—, then I’d be back on the Desura bandwagon.
We’ll see how things actually turn out, but for now, I can say I’m pretty optimistic.