Digital Game Store That Hasn't Been Paying Developers Files for Bankruptcy [Update]

By Julian Benson on at

Bad Juju, the company that owns and runs digital storefront Desura has filed for bankruptcy. We reported earlier this month that, since the company took control of the store from Linden Labs last year, it had struggled to pay developers. Then, yesterday, Graeme Boxell, an employee of Indie Royale, a subsidiary of Bad Juju and Desura, tweeted this:

And earlier today pointed people towards the news that Bad Juju has filed for bankruptcy:

This is the filing that our search turned up. We've been in contact with Lisa Morrison, head of developer relations at Bad Juju, who has confirmed that this filing is real.

Morrison found out about the news through Twitter"

Update:

Morrison told me that the news came as a shock to her, she "didn't have any indication that Bad Juju wasn't doing well. We had so much going on, so many new releases coming to Desura [and] work on 2.0. It seemed like we were well on our way to fixing the problems."

For developers who are still waiting on payouts for their games, Morrison says "I know Tony was trying to do payments all the way to the end, they must have frozen assets though, that would be normal in a bankruptcy from what I understand."

I asked her what this filing meant for and developers still waiting on payment and what this means for Desura and Indie Royale. However, this is still too soon, she says "I don't have any of those answers right now, all I can do is wait for the Trustees/lawyers to let Tony give details."

Desura first launched back in 2010 and fast became one of the largest digital stores for PC games outside of Steam, particularly attracting smaller developers who didn't have the clout to get the attention of Valve. In July 2013 Desura was bought by Linden Labs, developer of Second Life. Just over a year after that, on November 5, 2014 the service was sold again, this time to Bad Juju Games.

Within a month of Bad Juju taking control of the store some developers found they weren't being paid for their sales. For the past six months developers have struggled to claim the money they are owed:

Earlier this month Morrison issued a statement in response to these complaints admitting that difficulties following Desura's acquisition had caused a delay in the payments–Tony Novak, Bad Juju's CEO, had recently been hospitalised and the company had moved offices–but "those experiencing payment issues ARE being heard." Morrison's ended saying that Bad Juju is "not refusing to pay [developers], this is a promise. There are delays, and issues which need work to correct, but we will absolutely be paying all accounts due."

We will update this post as we learn more.

Developers looking for somewhere to sell their game should check out Itch.io and the Humble Store.

Also, if you've any games stored on Desura developer Simon Roth points out you should back them up:

And, if you've bought the recent Indie Royale bundle and are worried about redeeming codes then Hellscape Games will be honouring purchases: