Desura’s Transformation in Digital Game Distribution: Challenges, Acquisitions, and New Directions
Desura, once a prominent rival to Steam in digital game distribution, has experienced a series of transformative changes and challenges. Initially, Desura made its mark by supporting small, independent game developers, providing them with a dedicated platform for game distribution and interaction with an engaged community. The platform was renowned for its robust community support, efficient game updates, and developmental resources, positioning itself as a sanctuary for indie game creators.
However, Desura’s path has been far from smooth. Initially managed by DesuraNET, the platform underwent multiple ownership changes. It was first acquired by Linden Lab, followed by Bad Juju Games. The acquisition by Bad Juju Games in November 2014 marked a critical juncture. Financial difficulties quickly surfaced, with developers voicing concerns over delayed payments, indicating deep-seated issues within the company. These financial troubles peaked when Bad Juju Games declared bankruptcy in June 2015, significantly disrupting Desura’s operations, resulting in downtime and uncertainty.
In 2016, in an unexpected turn, OnePlay announced plans to acquire Desura and reinvent it as a subscription-based service. However, OnePlay’s financial difficulties led to the abandonment of these plans. A new chapter began in 2020 when Desura was purchased at auction by a buyer from Finland, about whom only the fact that he specializes in the development and promotion of online games is known and does everything possible to remain anonymous. This acquisition signaled a substantial shift in Desura’s strategy, transitioning from traditional game sales to offering free online games and developing casual games. This move indicated a strategic pivot towards a more inclusive and accessible gaming model.
Presently, Desura has substantially evolved from its initial form. While maintaining its name and logo, its primary focus now is online gaming. Despite its tumultuous history, marked by dissatisfaction among users and developers, Desura is striving to reassert itself in the online gaming market. This includes initiating a Kickstarter campaign to fund enhancements to their website, demonstrating a commitment to creating a more immersive and engaging experience for players.
The Kickstarter project is pivotal in Desura’s resurgence, relying on strong community support and fulfillment of their promises. This campaign reflects a combination of lessons learned from past difficulties and a vision for the future, showcasing Desura’s resilience and adaptability. Amidst these changes, there is speculation about Desura’s potential role in the competitive online gaming arena and its ability to rival platforms like Crazy Games or Poki. Desura’s story exemplifies the dynamic nature of the digital distribution and online gaming industry.
Desura’s narrative highlights the volatile and opportunity-rich landscape of digital game distribution, illustrating the sector’s continuous evolution and the challenges and prospects for platforms like Desura.