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ShinyLoot shutting down

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I got an email today informing me that ShinyLoot is shutting down operations this year:

Today we are making a public announcement to confirm what some of you have speculated over the past few months. ShinyLoot will, in the near future, begin the process of shutting down as a digital distribution service. With this email we will outline our thinking that led to this decision and what you can expect as a customer. We have always strived for transparency in our operations and we feel that you deserve as much information as possible, with as much warning as possible.

Every customer will be provided ample time to download their game libraries and use any remaining credits. As such, there are two important dates to keep in mind. The last date that purchases will be allowed is January 31st, 2016. After this date, all remaining credits will be forfeited. The last date we will be active for downloads, support, or general operational matters is March 17, 2016. We feel this is a fair balance between allowing access to files from our servers and the financial and time cost to us in maintaining operations.

With that out of the way, we would like to go into the reasons why we are following this course of action, our future as a business, and how we got to this point.

We started ShinyLoot with the goal of promoting independent and medium sized publishers through primarily DRM-free offerings using a trait discovery system. Although many games have received thousands of additional views through our service, we never really converted those views into a high enough sales rate. Between the lack of performance and the looming large investment required to continue growing, our motivation has gradually waned.

Both founding members of ShinyLoot have slowly lost the drive and passion we used to break into the market. It became clear that the long hours needed to see ShinyLoot thrive would not be ending anytime soon. Stress started to play a role in both of our lives and we sacrificed other ventures to make this work. So we took a break for most of 2015 to try to reignite the spark with our most recent sale in November, but it simply didn't last. And in that time, the market has grown even more competitive. At this point, we simply don't think managing ShinyLoot as a digital distributor is a significant addition to the gaming community nor the right course of action for us personally or professionally. There are simply too many services that provide an equal or better substitute for our offerings.

As for what that means in the future, we have been in talks with a few companies and individuals to transition ownership of ShinyLoot elsewhere. Nothing ever materialized that made sense, either because of how it affected us, you, our publishers and developers, or all of the above. We have continued to try to do everything the "right way", and that does limit our options. So we will maintain rights to the domain and perhaps try to transition into something that is purely discovery based, without the retail aspect, as that seemed to be our biggest benefit to the gaming community.

So this is where we are at. We know that it's not a great message to receive at the end of the year, and it's not one that's easy for us to deliver. We hope that you understand our decision, and we would be happy to talk with any of you if you would like to respond. Please keep in mind that responses may be delayed depending on the quantity of replies we receive. We wish you a Happy New Year and that this may be only a small hiccup in an otherwise great 2016 for you.


Chris and Sood (ShinyLoot Staff)
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TL;DR version is: Download/redeem your purchased games before the middle of March.

I'd never even heard of this.  Oh well...

ShinyLoot has been pretty "dormant" for a while now.

I must say, I don't really get how Steam-key resellers make money. Places like GOG and HumbleBundle that sell DRM-Free "copies" are different, but places like GreenManGaming, GamersGate and various "bundlers" are just selling something they must have "bought" from Steam, same as I can do. I bought "Cities:Skylines" from GMG for a discount. It's available from the publisher (Paradox) or Amazon, but both are just Steam keys.

The one game I bought at ShinyLoot came with both a Steam key and a zip download.

I've been reading more about how this economy works. Apparently as a developer, you just ask Steam for keys and they give them to you. The store (GMG, HumbleBundle, or whatever) then buys the keys from the developer and resells them. Steam makes money by (1) selling games itself and (2) providing DRM to developers. So GMG et al are not "resellers" of steam keys since they're likely getting them directly from the developer or publisher.


As far as legitimate distributors, it's a function of steamworks for steam.  I'm not sure how it works on other platforms (uPlay, origin, etc), but Steam is the distribution method, and it also doubles as a store.  Only when you look at steam the store as the only entity does it not make sense.  Looking at steam as the distribution method, is where you get into how the third parties get into the business.

I'd never even heard of this.  Oh well...
-wraith808 (January 07, 2016, 10:01 PM)
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I'm not sure how I first heard of it, but it seems it was only mentioned one time on this forum before:

A bunch of games for $1 each at

Personally, I never found their selection to be particularly interesting beyond a scant few games.


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