Is Desura Planning to Compete with Steam Again?

Desura, once a formidable challenger to Steam in the realm of digital game distribution, has weathered a storm of changes and challenges. Initially, Desura carved out a niche for itself by championing small, independent game developers, offering them a unique platform for distributing their games and engaging with a vibrant community. The platform stood out for its strong community support, streamlined game updates, and resources for developers, making it a haven for indie creators.

However, Desura’s journey has been anything but smooth. Starting under the stewardship of DesuraNET, the platform changed hands multiple times, first being acquired by Linden Lab and then by Bad Juju Games. Bad Juju Games’ acquisition in November 2014 was a turning point, as financial struggles soon emerged. Complaints about late payments to developers surfaced, highlighting systemic issues within the company. This financial instability culminated in Bad Juju Games filing for bankruptcy in June 2015, a development that significantly impacted Desura’s operations, leading to periods of downtime and uncertainty.

In a twist of fate, in 2016, OnePlay stepped in with plans to acquire Desura and relaunch it as a subscription-based service. However, these plans were short-lived due to OnePlay’s own financial woes. The platform then found a new owner in 2020, when it was bought at auction 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 marked a significant shift in Desura’s focus. Moving away from its original model of game sales, Desura transitioned to offering cool games and developing its own io games, signaling a strategic pivot towards a more inclusive and accessible gaming experience.

Today, Desura has evolved significantly from its original incarnation. While it retains its name and logo, its focus has shifted to primarily online gaming. Despite its turbulent past, including issues that led to dissatisfaction among both users and developers, Desura is making strides to reestablish itself in the online gaming market. This includes plans for a Kickstarter campaign aimed at funding enhancements to their website, underscoring a commitment to creating a more engaging and immersive experience for players.

The Kickstarter initiative is a crucial step in Desura’s revival. Success hinges on securing robust support and fulfilling their commitments. This campaign represents a blend of lessons learned from past hardships and a forward-looking vision, embodying Desura’s resilience and adaptability. With these changes and initiatives, questions linger about Desura’s future role in the competitive online gaming landscape and its potential to once again stand as a significant player, challenging platforms like Crazy Games or Poki. Desura’s journey is a testament to the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the digital distribution and online gaming industry.

The narrative of Desura underscores the challenges and opportunities within the digital game distribution sector, a landscape that continually evolves, presenting both obstacles and possibilities for platforms like Desura​.

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