Prominent online game store Desura is now part of Linden Labs, magnifying the humble outlet's potential to challenge Steam, computer gaming's dominant digital download service.
"Second Life" exemplifies Linden's shared, creative, and social content philosophy
Linden is the company behind virtual world "Second Life" and other titles that explore sharing and creativity such as virtual toyboxes "Creatorverse" and "Blocksworld," interactive novel app "Versu," and the Pinterest, Streetview and Flickr-style website "Dio."
Desura, meanwhile, never had the resources that Steam store operator Valve can call upon but has been known as "Steam for indie games" since its 2010 introduction.
It focused on smaller, independent titles well before Steam added its own Greenlight track; some of Desura's finds have since gone on to appear before Steam's larger audience, having proved their worth.
And Desura's new owner Linden has a number of things in common with Steam operator Valve Corp., including a long history of game development -- Linden's virtual world "Second Life" launched in 2003, while "Half-Life 2" turned the first-person shooter genre on its head in 2004, ensuring the Steam Network's viability in the process.
Arguably, Linden has a considerable advantage when it comes to user-powered marketplaces and in-game purchases thanks to the "Second Life" experience; Valve started experimenting much later in 2010.
But as long as competition breeds innovation, and Linden can boost rather than dilute Desura's potential, things are looking even better for Mac, PC and Linux gamers.