The situation looks bleak for the unpaid indie developers at Desura, as their prophetically-named parent company Bad Juju has confirmed that it has initiated bankruptcy proceedings.
Concerns arose earlier today, when Indie Royale’s (who are also owned by Bad Juju) Graeme Boxall indirectly pointed everybody towards this online bankruptcy listing.
If you Google, Bad Juju bankruptcy, you find some very unfortunate news.
— Graeme Boxall (@uncomplex) June 5, 2015
This suspicion was later confirmed by Bad Juju’s head of developer relations, Lisa Morrison, who told Gamasutra, “I asked Tony [Novak, CEO of Bad Juju] for confirmation and all he could tell me was, ‘The lawyers have said I can’t say anything or answer any questions yet, but yes it’s true.'”
Morrison appears to have been completely blindsided by the news, stating on her twitter account that she “had no idea this was coming,” and confirming that employees like herself are now locked out of all company accounts and email systems.
If everyone can help RT please, I can't use company accounts, we are locked out. I can't answer my email there anymore
— LadyKaiju (@LadyAijou) June 5, 2015
It was Morrison who issued a statement back in May, when it emerged that indie developers on Desura had gone unpaid for some time, which claimed the company was “not in financial crisis.” In retrospect that looks pretty damning, but based on everything emerging today, it does seem as though this bankruptcy has come out of the blue for the vast majority of employees.
Desura (and bundle seller Indie Royale) were purchased by Bad Juju in 2014.
Information is scant on what this will mean for those developers still owed money, and much will depend on bankruptcy proceedings. The worst case scenario is, of course, that they will get nothing. In the best case, perhaps the service will be purchased by a new company who settle the debts. At present, this is all speculation.
Desura customers are urged to download DRM-free copies of any games owned on the service. Likewise, any keys purchased through Indie Royale (for Desura or otherwise,) should probably be claimed and activated as soon as possible.