desura_thumb.jpg[by Gamasutra's Kris Ligman]

In a surprise move, this morning Second Life developer Linden Lab announced that it is acquiring Desura, a digital distribution service used by indies and larger publishers.

"Desura's talented team, thriving business and impressive technology are a great fit for Linden Lab," CEO Rod Humble said in a statement announcing the acquisition, the second that the company has made this year. It previously acquired Blocksworld, an iPad brick-building game.

"Our aim is to invest and support the Desura team in making it the most open and developer-friendly platform in the world," Humble continued.

Linden Lab's flagship title Second Life has reportedly been performing much better than is widely believed. With the Desura acquisition, Linden Lab appears to be gearing itself toward bigger things in the future.

[Update from John Polson: DesuraNET founder Scott Reismanis told me that he would be working for Linden and to expect big things coming for bundle service Indie Royale.]