Digital games distributor Desura has been late to pay developers that publish games on its online store. The company admitted as much in a post to its official site yesterday where it apologized for the delay and tried to explain the issue.
“The issues have stemmed from a number of factors coming together in a bad way,” Head of Developer Relations Lisa Morrison said. “The acquisition of the company last year has presented us with a number of very difficult issues to tackle, and we have been clearing those hurdles as efficiently as we are able. This has been compounded by the office being relocated, and by the current hospitalization of our CEO.”
Developers have been complaining about late payments since last year, when Desura was acquired by Bad Juju. Desura was previously owned by Linden Labs, the company behind Second Life. The digital distribution platform primarily focuses on independent games, but it carries many well known games, such as Five Nights at Freddy’s, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Serious Sam 3, and many more.
I find this sort of behaviour inexcusable, especially since a lot of the process could be automated. I would think twice before using a company that doesn’t pay the developers for products they sell. Whilst it’s unethical, it’s also bad for business leaving customers thinking twice about whether Desura will act in a less than ethical manner regarding their account information, or whether they will still be around in the near future. Indie developers are looking at alternative means for digital distribution, with developers in outrage at the lack of communication from the company in the last few months. One developer had this to say: “The PR statement of theirs is nonsense. There is no excuse for completely ignoring us for 6 months, and now that the press has contacted them they are finally responding? Sorry, but I don’t buy all the excuses. Most likely they have spent or lost the money the owe us and were just afraid to tell us that, hoping that we would forget if they just ignored us for long enough. Now they don’t even have the decency to be honest and blame it on illness and “very difficult issues”. The worst part is that Desura was originally supposed to help indie developers not take their money and run.”
Business can be messy, especially when you start involving several parties, but when one party is unable to keep their end of the deal, then its no wonder tension can arise.