There will soon be a new digital distribution platform to compete against Steam et al. Codenamed Desura it was recently revealed on ModDB by the staffers who have been working on it in secret for two years.
They aim for Desura to make a big change to the way digital distribution platforms work by taking the openess of ModDB and applying it to Desura. In this interview I talk with Scott Reismanis, the founder of DesuraNET the company behind ModDB that is developing Desura. These are also a bunch of exclusive new pics!
The Reticule - Can you tell us what Desura is in a few words?
Scott – Desura is a digital distribution service for gamers, putting the best games, mods and downloadable content at your fingertips and ready to play.
TR – You have been working on Desura in secret for a while, now you have gone public, what has the reaction been like?
Scott -Quite astonishing really. We were trying to keep the announcement low key and only introduce developers to Desura, as we are still in the early stages of launching with much work left to be done. However the news has spread far and wide, and as a result we have received hundreds of emails from game developers wanting to use Desura, and gamers wanting beta access. We are very pleased with this, have worked very hard for a long time and now we are going to work even harder to exceed your expectations.
TR – How do you intend to make Desura community driven? Can you expand on how developers are able to get involved with the community?
Scott -On Desura we give the community and developers a voice. Gamers can rate the mods and games they play, watch their favorites, post comments, submit images and videos, they can even post news, features and tutorials. Developers can also post comments, images, videos, news and features etc, which means developers can respond to the communities content with their own – and hopefully create a better game in the process by taking the feedback received onboard. Everything we provide is built with the community in mind, and we have many more ideas which we hope will give gamers even more “behind the scenes” type insight.
TR – What impact do you forsee Desura having on game/mod development?
Scott – For mods I believe Desura is a gamechanger. While we only support a handful of games at the moment, we hope we can eliminate the negative stigma attached with mods (that they are complicated to find, install, patch and play), by making them accesible at the click of a mouse. So many mods are amazing accomplishments, combining creativity with steadfast dedication and yet so many are missed by gamers, because they don’t know how to get them or that they even exist. Desura will provide a platform for mods to reach large audiences they never could in the past and at the same time will provide tools and APIs that only commercial games have access to. I believe we can also do the same for indie games, because whilst there are many now getting recognition on Steam, XBOXLive, PSN and other places, there are still many more getting missed. Developers who care about their players will flourish on Desura, because we give them the ability to build a fanbase and generate interest in their game by sharing frequent updates with the entire Desura community. This also applies to commerical games, who will benefit from mod support and the potential new customers that can now bring them.
TR - What “big-name” developers have you got on board working with Desura?
Scott – Until last week the project was secret to all but a select few, so we have only just begun speaking to developers regarding Desura. It will be a while before they get involved as our focus is on mindshare and creating the best application we can for developers. Once we are happy with Desura, we will start to open it up and work on getting great games on the platform, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us (due to our ambitious community driven goals) before that will happen.
TR -Will Desura be a portal to purchase full-price games as well as everything else it offers?
Scott – While at the moment we don’t have any “paid for” content, that is the next step. At the moment it is a “proof of concept” demonstrating some of the functionality will aim to eventually provide. So yes Desura will provide paid content, and it will also provide free indie games and mods. No other digital distribution portals offer this, so we are fairly certain gamers will love Desura thanks to some astonishing user-made content out there, which is sadly missed by most games.
TR – How do you intend the mod section to work, will people be able to simply press a button to download a mod? Does Desura install the mod as well?
Scott – Provided you have the game required installed, Desura does all the work for you. You click download and it will install it and patch it as required so you can focus on the fun stuff (i.e. playing games!)