Desura Owner Bad Juju Games Files for Bankruptcy

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austin_walker

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Edited By austin_walker
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It has been a rough few months for Desura owner Bad Juju Games, and for the developers that sell their games on the digital distribution platform too. First, there were the reports on Reddit and Twitter that some devs hadn't received timely payment in months. Then, Desura announced that the payment delay had been complicated by a lack of automated payment systems and by the recent hospitalization of the company's CEO. And today, Rock Paper Shotgun has confirmed that Bad Juju Games has filed for bankruptcy.

Bad Juju acquired Desura back in November from Second Life company Linden Lab, which itself had purchased Desura only about a year prior. All of this taken together paints a grim picture of Desura's operations, and it calls into question the future of the platform.

In its first years, Desura was one of only a few digital storefronts that offered small, independent, and experimental games. But with the rise of Steam Greenlight, Early Access, Itch.io, and the numerous Bundle sites, the defining feature of Desura became a lot less unique.

Now, bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean closure, so for the time being, Desura itself remains up in the air. But this does act as a reminder of the potential precariousness of digital distribution platforms in general. As much as I'd like Desura to continue operation, I do have to wonder: In the case that the service does close, what happens to my copy of Datajack? Will Desura provide legacy servers so that I can download Datajack for some amount of time in the future? Will Datajack's developer need to set up a solution himself? There are a lot of unanswered questions about what happens when services like Desura close, and even if it doesn't happen here, I suspect we'll be facing this reality again sometime in the future. We'll just have to see how it all shakes out.

(PS: Everyone go play Datajack.)

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Homelessbird

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#1  Edited By Homelessbird

Whoops. Desura always felt like it was too weird to exist.

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Wolfgame

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#2  Edited By Wolfgame

I think I bought a game a few years ago on Desura, like you mentioned it seemed to be offering titles that Steam wasn't interested in until greenlight opened up. Desura really didn't have many options to compete when its niche was filled by a more widely accepted storefront.

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kblosnack

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#3  Edited By kblosnack
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hassun

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They gave it a good try. I am thankful to them for providing Vinny with a lot of inspiration.

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fox318

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I've only used Desura from games I got in bundles.

It was better when it was a moddb mod downloader and installer but as a game platform I don't see it competing with the big boys. Especially with indie devs getting steam card money and GOG getting to be the place for DRM free games to be.

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TehBuLL

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I really like how you personalize all of your news posts. Helps me actually care about the loss of Desura which I always thought was shady.

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KaneRobot

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Digital Only Future My ASS, McBain

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chaser324

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#8  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

Really sucks for all of the devs that are owed money, as well as the employees of Desura and IndieRoyale (also owned by Bad Juju) that were just as surprised by this news as the rest of us, although maybe at least some of them had a sense that something was happening yesterday...

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baka_shinji17

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That is literally some bad juju.

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planetfunksquad

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Desura scared me. In the words of Paul Ryckert, "It felt virus-y". Itch.io is a much better place for those niche games these days anyway right?

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williamflipper

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Quick Look East Presents " Datajack"

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VectortheAngel

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I have a game on Desura. No idea what to do with it now.

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raikoh05

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oh no... :(

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flameboy84

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#15  Edited By flameboy84
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VectortheAngel

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@flameboy84It's an option but I'm not sure I want to get stuck in Greenlight purgatory. It's not a great game and was more of a test to see if I can actually finish a project so I'm skeptical it will get anywhere beyond Greenlight.

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T_wester

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#18  Edited By T_wester

@vectortheangel: Download it, the servers are still up and I doubt most Desura games have drm.

Edit: oh you have a game for sale, maybe check out itch.io

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chaser324

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#19 chaser324  Moderator

@vectortheangel: I'd highly suggest taking a look at itch.io. It's a fantastic spot for smaller experimental games.

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falling_fast

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i'd suggest looking at gog.com if u hate steam for whatever reason (or even if you don't, cause it has lots of cool old games), because it probably won't go bankrupt and or not pay developers what they're owed :]

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VectortheAngel

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@chaser324: Yeah, I'm going to do some research on itch.io over the weekend.

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Sin4profit

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Got Steam keys for all the games i bought on Desura that i care about, Haven't really been back in a long time.

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falling_fast

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#23  Edited By falling_fast
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Avanzato

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I've got a lot of games on Desura mostly through the Indie Royal bundles, I think probably half of them are duplicated on Steam as the Devs handed out keys when they got Greenlit etc. Which probably indicates one of Desuras problems.

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Venekor

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Why I only buy digital games through Steam.

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Naoiko

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All those poor folks possibly loosing their jobs breaks my heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.

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thomasnash

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I suspect it has as much to do with Steam and GOG offering more and more games on Mac and Linux as it does with the availability of indie games themselves.

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fisk0

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#28  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

As I've understood it, game developers weren't too happy with how the Desura back end worked over the past couple of years. Ever since they launched their own Steam-like client, it's apparently been a nightmare to patch games on the service, and some developers pretty much gave up supporting their games on that platform altogether (which is probably why they were so happy about giving away steam keys for the games).

So, yeah, doesn't quite surprise me, the service was always a bit too weird and everything you wanted to do took way too many convoluted steps to actually do.

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AMyggen

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Ah, this suck. Also yeah, DataJack is awesome.

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monkeyking1969

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Gaming is so big and faceted that I didn't even know this service existed. Oh, well, best of luck to them; and best of luck to their hospitalized CEO.

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GERALTITUDE

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#31  Edited By GERALTITUDE

Not shocking I suppose, but a bummer all the same.

And lo, some typos! :D @austin_walker

1st Para; 2nd Senta - Misplaced "The" in "First, there the were reports on Reddit..."

2nd Para; 1st Senta - Missing "A" in "...which itself had only purchased Desura about __ year prior."

annnnnnnnd YEAH DATAJACK

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BluPotato

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Desura was a weird thing that I was glad to have existed, even if I only used it a few times to look around at the offerings.

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HotelDon

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How dare you insert your opinion into this news article. I'm going to go start a thread in general discussion with an extremely leading question in the title to complain about it!

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ultrapeanut

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"Wait, didn't Linden own--ohhh." Welp. D=

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meneerdamen

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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austin_walker

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flameboy84

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@chaser324: I didn't realize indie royale were a part of the same company!

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ThunderSlash

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How else am I gonna play Age of Barbarian though?

Really sucks for all of the devs that are owed money, as well as the employees of Desura and IndieRoyale (also owned by Bad Juju) that were just as surprised by this news as the rest of us, although maybe at least some of them had a sense that something was happening yesterday...

I've bought a couple IndieRoyale bundles and that's just sad. In the end they were just announcing bundles of small time greenlight games, which probably didn't help entice people into buying them.

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FakeKisser

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This is sad to hear. I liked the idea behind Desura and even bought a few games on there. However, I will admit that I prefer to buy games on GOG and Steam, just because I have more games already on those platforms. That being said, I do own some smaller games on Desura that I don't have on GOG or Steam.

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viking_funeral

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It took me way to long to remember what Desura was / is.

And now I'm sad. I really liked the idea of that place.

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uhtaree

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I feel like I heard the word Desura at some point.

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BigD145

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You don't own your digital purchases and servers can go down at any time? You don't say...

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MattyFTM

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#45 MattyFTM  Moderator
@venekor said:

Why I only buy digital games through Steam.

So when Steam goes under, you're screwed.

I know it doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon, but things can change. There is no such thing as a company too big to fail. This sort of thing highlights the very real danger with digital distribution and the uncertainty of future access to our purchases. It's a big issue.

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billyok

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Never used that service, but that logo's adorable. I hope it finds happiness somewhere else.

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cooljammer00

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Oh no, Vinny's random games!

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Karkarov

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#48  Edited By Karkarov

Well at least Datajack does look sort of cool.... Digital distribution is a pretty rough field to be in. The market is saturated.

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GStats

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Bad news. We need as many competitors for Steam as possible. I might be wrong but don't Steam and GOG cover about 95% of the market?

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fox318

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@gstats: I think Origin has a decent cut. Impulse prior to the Gamestop acquisition was pretty big now I don't really know.

Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud, Steam Workshop, Steam Cards and Badges, and eventually Steam paid Mods will eat up anyone unless their DRM Free nature is part of their policy.

GOG Galaxy is gonna be pretty important.

Uplay is the equivalent of asking for a lobotomy.

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