In case you missed it last Friday, Tony Novak, the new CEO of Desura, did an interview with Twitch user Indie—and, I have to say, I’ve set aside any worries I had from my initial reaction to the acquisition. The commentary was frank and honest, and Tony had no problem saying how he felt about the current state of the service. From the poor site layout to the outdated client to the “nightmarish” submission and publishing process, Desura is looking to get a complete overhaul in 2015.
Here’s a brief list of some of the plans that were mentioned:
- Updated website
- Updated Desura client (including a version for Mac!)
- Drastically simplified publishing process
- More activity on social media
- Better promotion of games on the service
I’ve already seen evidence of their dedication to promotion, both personally for my own games and in general on their Facebook and Twitter pages. A developer in the chat asked if there were any plans to attract Desura exclusives, and while there wasn’t an existing course of action, there were promises of front-page promotion, YouTube videos, and social media posts—all significantly more than the “well, you get to be published on Desura” that developers have been used to so far.
The new publishing process was the biggest thing for me. Tony admitted that “it’s a wonder that anyone actually publishes anything here” with the way things are currently set up, and that Desura’s previous owner only had one person approving submissions, leaving “700 sitting in queue for review”. The promise to simplify the process and increase the number of reviewers wasn’t what caught my attention, however—it was the comment that “some of it’s total garbage” and that there are plans to turn down games that don’t meet Desura’s new standards. While some might find this insulting, I personally support this wholeheartedly. There’s a nice niche somewhere between Steam’s Greenlight approval process and itch.io’s 100% acceptance policy, and Desura could easily cash in on that middle area with a little effort.
The other point on that topic that excited me was the plan to allow instant updates for trusted developers. Currently, if you want to submit a patch or update to your game, it can take as long as two or three weeks to have it checked and approved. In my own experience, I had an update I made for Christmas last year—and, after waiting almost a month for the update to go through, there was an error and I had to submit again. It wasn’t until after Christmas that my new version was available to the public. Allowing trusted developers to publish updates instantly (or, on a schedule—please?) would be an amazing improvement.
At this point, I have nothing but excitement over these announcements. The new management is already clearly on top of things, and they’re taking great strides to involve users and developers in the process, as well. We’ll see how things look this time next year, but for now, 2015 is looking like a good year for indie developers.
If you’re interested in hearing the interview for yourself, it’s available in its entirety on Indie’s YouTube Channel.