Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Well, %$#@! Desura Owner Bad Juju Files Bankruptcy

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 5, 2015

1desura_headWell, that sucks.

I’ve been a fan of Desura for quite a while. I’ve used it to discover a lot of off-beat indie games, particularly when it was so difficult to get a game on Steam. I’ve recommended them to other developers. They’ve been a decent partner to work with in the past. And of course, I like rooting for the underdog. And when rumors surfaced about missing / late payments, I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. Hiccups happen, but it later emerged that the payment problems had been happening for a while.

Of course, this happens just as a payment is supposed to go out to me, as a recent IndieRoyale bundle took me over the top.

So far, there’s not been an official announcement from Desura or Bad Juju. The last we heard Lisa Morrison, head of developer relations – about a week ago – was an apology and a promise that they weren’t going out of business, were fixing the payment problems, dropping the minimum payment from $500 to $250, and that they were exploring some exciting new opportunities.

But that was all before this morning’s events. It apparently came as a surprise to Lisa Morrison too, who discovered the rumor via Twitter this morning, according to Gamasutra.  Sucks all around, I guess.

I don’t know how bankruptcy law works, or if someone is going to be able to buy Desura from Bad Juju (meaning: assume that debt for…. what, in return?) and make things right with developers. It’s possible. But right now, I’m not feeling very hopeful. In fact, I’m downright grumpy.

If you purchased Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon from Desura or via Indie Royale, please make sure you’ve got it downloaded or have used keys via an alternative source (Steam, etc). While it’s still available for people for now (and could be for many months, I don’t know), at this point there are no guarantees.

UPDATE: This from Lisa Morrison. And yeah, totally nasty surprise for her (IMO, it sounds like she was truly working hard to make good on her promises up until this happened):


Filed Under: Biz, Indie Horror Games - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Craig Stern said,

    Well–I suppose filing for bankruptcy *is* kind of an exciting new opportunity…for them to not pay any of the developers whose money they’ve been happily pocketing these past few months.

    I have nothing but contempt for Desura’s owners at this juncture.

  • Charles said,

    Not sure how much is owed but all this press they’re getting (bad for the owner, rather sympathy attracting for Desura themselves), and further publicity if a takeover is announced… It might actually make it worth a try.

  • califer said,

    Has Desura been cursed? I haven’t heard any good news about it in some time.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The last “good” news was them being bought by Bad Juju, who had a lot of great plans for the service. Sounded good, at least. In retrospect, nope, not so much.

  • Anon said,

    It’s a pity, really, if Indie Royale in its current form dies as they are one of the few providers of DRM-free games. Most appear to only sell Steam keys nowadays.

    But the fact is that I did notice a – perhaps purely subjective – decrease in “bundle quality”.
    Practically no “big names” like stuff from Wadjet Eye or Spiderweb Software, the Cognition games, Eschalon 3, The Journey Down 1, Lume, The Cat Lady, To the Moon and no interesting stuff like Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble or Zafehouse Diaries.

    Now it’s mostly mediocre, uninspired stuff which looks like it comes from first timers or they have those dime-a-dozen minimalistic puzzlers that the indie industry still pumps out like there is no tomorrow…

    Hence, the last bundle I got from IR was in late January.

  • Silemess said,

    It’s a bit of a shame. But not unexpected, as a previous poster said, I haven’t seen much on there that caught my eye to go for in a while. If you don’t buy, they can’t keep a service.

    But this IS playing into my big fear of “What happens when your digital distribution service goes belly up?” I wonder what the plan going forward will be. Pooling everything together under Steam’s banner isn’t the best solution. 1) Again, the library is stored in one place. 2) Reduces the chances of any other distribution hub really growing to match and keep things on an even keel.

  • lakerz said,

    This really sucks for both the developers who are getting the shaft and for the customers who may soon find their digital library in the ether so to speak. I’ve bought quite a few games through Desura in support of indies. Hope most of that money got to the devs instead of just in the pockets of the greedy owner. Man, some people really suck.