Sunday, August 4, 2013

Can Desura become a platform to promote game mods in Second Life?

There has been quite a lot of blogger coverage on Linden Lab's move to buy the Desura platform. So far Desura is Steam for indie games. I am wondering if the purchase of the platform hasn't the potential to bring game developers closer to Second Life. As Inara Pey points out  in the blog post, "Desura - grand ambitions", Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble expresses the aim to enlarge the portfolio of Desura:
[We want] to make it the most open, developer- and user-friendly distribution service for all kinds of digital goods, starting out with games and mods and going from there. For us it’s a natural step… We’re about user-to-user transactions and empowering people’s creativity. [Rod Humble]. [Inara Pey concludes:] This is a pretty hefty ambition, and [...] while this is pure speculation on my part, could it perhaps also be that LL have their eye on content creators interested in being able to sell their mesh creations to users of virtual worlds – not just SL, but OpenSim (and perhaps even Cloud Party)? (Inara Pey)
Desura - Now by Linden Lab
What I found even more interesting was the subsequent  discussion in the comments - as the new Desura product range wouldn't just have to be mesh creation:
I think Second Life has to also become a platform for game development in order to attract new residents and keep them interested and entertained. Now having [with Desura] a channel to a large community of game developers, this will be an excellent opportunity to promote Second Life as an easy to use platform for game development. This could bring some talented content developers to SL. (Erik @ Comments of "Desura - Grand Ambitions")
As I have the impression that Linden Lab is following the strategy to strengthen the game platform potential of Second Life with new tools such as Pathfinding or the upcoming "Experience tools". That makes me wondering if they are evaluating the possibilities to make Desura a promotion platform for gaming content in Second Life. I think that would be an excellent idea.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the buyout of Desura by LL, Inara also points out:

    Desura is community-oriented, and the Lab’s track record of community relations within SL hasn’t exactly been stellar. Can they fare better with the Desura user community? The other, perhaps more vital, point is that while it is already up and running and has its own community, Desura is still pretty small and needs a lot of commitment and nurturing in order to grow. This will require time and effort on the Lab’s part – do they actually have the patience and willingness to run the course (as well as the expertise to run it well), particularly among the board, who are liable to have one eye firmly on ROI? In this, it is interesting that the Lab may not actually be looking to go it alone, with Humble admitting they could well be looking to bring-in partners.

    In terms of community relations, to say that LL's track record isn't exactly stellar strikes me as a bit of an understatement, and I believe this has quite a lot to do with the fact that LL has never really had a specific vision for its products and itself and this influences how they deal with their products' user bases; not to mention the "Greek God" model of governance (i.e. arbitrary, ad hoc and inconsistent application and interpretation of its ToS), a governance that has not been without its own controversies (such as a reported collusion with a now-disgraced team of "anti-griefer" vigilantes).

    Now, how will Desura's small community react to LL's plans to make it a distribution channel for every kind of digital product? What will LL do with Desura? In 2010, they shuttered the then-recently acquired Avatars United and "integrated" the underlying technology into SL, creating the beleaguered and largely shunned SL feeds (, a wannabe social network, which has yet to gain any significant success or respect, because it is neither fish nor fowl and tries to be both, with predictable results.

    LL's track record in managing its products isn't exactly stellar (my turn for an understatement). At best, I'd give them a C+.

    I must also point out that Valve is an extremely well-regarded and successful company, which has recently recruited one of the world's best economists, Yanis Varoufakis. How does LL compare to that?