OUYA, What’s Going On Here Then?

By John Walker on September 11th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Something strange is afoot in the land of OUYA. The Kickstarted console, running on Android, is obviously not usually in RPS’s purview. But a recently launched incentive to get developers to create OUYA games is treading on our toes, and merits a look. OUYA’s Free The Games Fund offers to match money raised by Kickstarted games, if they can reach a minimum of $50,000, in exchange for six months OUYA exclusivity. It’s hard to know where to begin pointing out what’s dumb about that. And OUYA’s failure to recognise why is causing a number of indie names to loudly complain, some to even stop developing for the console. We’ve spoken to a few of them to find out why.

OUYA’s Free The Games fund is the ironically named project where they are offering to match Kickstarter successes over $50,000, until a pool of $1 million is used up, in return for six months of platform exclusivity. And it’s leading to problems. With accusations of Kickstarter fixing rampant, and the whole concept inherently flawed, indie developers who previously expressed their dismay at this promotion are now threatening to boycott the Android system entirely. Among them indie champion Sophie Houlden, who has stated that she’s withdrawing her games from the OUYA marketplace, despite loving the console, because she no longer feels comfortable supporting the business. “I can forgive some major screw-ups (they are expected even),” Houlden told us when we got in touch. “So long as you own your screw ups, come clean ASAP and look for better solutions. I didn’t see what I hoped to see in the response to these problems and I wasn’t comfortable having my game supporting such an evasive PR. I like things honest, up-front and open and I wasn’t getting it.”

So what’s so wrong with the Free The Games Fund? Let’s list it out.

$50,000.

Many indie games don’t cost $50,000 to make. Especially when that game is designed to run on an Android operating system. Bedroom coders, small one or two person teams, even the smaller studios, often aren’t aiming to make projects with budgets anywhere near that. The kinds of developers OUYA has been courting since its launch are working with much smaller figures. But even still, figures they may not have. Rob Fearon of Retro Remakes makes it clear. “[It’s] an amazingly big ask for most people. Most projects won’t get there.”

Setting the minimum funding level at such an enormously high figure prohibits the vast majority of indie developers from even attempting to receive the cash. Having to pitch concepts that would cost so much money on Kickstarter, and being able to deliver on such large-scale ideas, simply wouldn’t be feasible. Let alone so massively restrict their chances of being successfully funded, and thus receive nothing. Fearon suggests the whole concept is badly thought through. “There’s the whole, ‘We’ve got a million dollars to give away to developers but rather than just hand it out, we’re going to mess a load of people around whilst we do some grandstanding,” aspect to it.” Instead he suggests it would have made far more sense just to distribute the cash to developers in smaller chunks. “Imagine what Sophie Houlden could do with a percentage of it or any number of other indie developers who are sitting there making games whilst barely scraping by. Just a few grand can make a difference to a lot of people, it’s the difference between some quality music, some more beautiful art or in a lot of cases, teabags.”

Exclusivity

Exclusivity is rarely beneficial to a developer, unless they’re receiving direct funding from a major publisher or manufacturer in order to make the game in the first place. And even then, many developers have been stung by deals in the past, especially those who embraced Microsoft’s empty promises for promotion on the 360. So where does the OUYA deal fall? Is exclusivity any use to developers? Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell says not.

“Six months is ridiculous,” he tells us. The developer’s next project, Volume, will be exclusive to Sony’s PS4 for a month, but he explains this was not a requirement from Sony, and was mainly done so he doesn’t have to simultaneously release on four platforms. But he says the OUYA deal doesn’t compare. “Limiting yourself to such a tiny platform for such a ridiculous time is just not going to happen unless the game would be profitable enough to justify it not going wider.” Something he says would be incredibly unlikely. “No up-and-coming indie should limit their audience in this way, and no established indie would risk pissing off their fans by forcing them onto a platform. I don’t see who this works for, except OUYA.”

Swift*Stitch developer Sophie Houlden somewhat disagrees on the details. “Platform exclusivity is almost always beneficial for developers,” she argues, adding the proviso, “assuming they aren’t giving it over for free, that is.” Houlden explains that often taking an exclusivity deal can often be the only way to ensure the cash is available. “The rewards customers give you for being idealistic when it comes to platform choices just don’t measure up to the rewards you can get by giving one platform preferential treatment.” Houlden would be happy to develop an OUYA exclusive in the future, were the terms correct, and were their behaviour to change.

Fearon takes a very different position. Saying there was a time a few years back when he could see the advantages, he’s certain they’re no longer there. “It’s insane to ask for exclusivity in the main now,” he tells us. “It’s insane because people just want to play games on the platform of their choice and the technical hurdles to that are down now thanks to the uptake of Unity, GM and what have you. It’s asking developers to throw away free money.” So when it comes to an OUYA deal he’s even more severe. “Why would I sign up for six months exclusivity to a platform which doesn’t have enough people buying games on it across the board so that I’d be able to afford to eat with their spends?” he asks. “I mean, I don’t have much of the stuff but I definitely like money because it helps me eat and stuff. That’s an enormous ask of someone.”

Quantity

A conservative guess at the number of OUYAs out there puts it at around 100,000. We know that the project received just under 60,000 backers who pledged at the levels to receive a console, but OUYA aren’t willing to disclose how many they’ve sold since launching in June. Very low game sales, however, don’t suggest an enormous customer base at this point. Houlden notes there just aren’t enough customers out there for this model. “Even if every person who owns an OUYA contributed to the Kickstarter you’d have trouble reaching the minimum $50k,” she explains to us. “There are much better ways to help great developers get onto your console and it seems like nobody at OUYA thought to ask us what those might be before launching this fund.”

So let’s say you’ve got yourself 100,000 potential customers – well, we can’t. Because in July, of all the OUYA owners, only 27% paid for a game. So we’re closer to 27,000 potential customers. But then, the biggest selling game on OUYA in July was OUYA-exclusive Towerfall, and that had sold a total of 2,000 copies. That indicates that a big hit on the machine could look likely to see around 7% of owners buy your game. Your finished game.

Now let’s look at the figures with a game that’s not been made yet, because we’re on Kickstarter to raise our funds, with six months of exclusivity to the OUYA platform. At the most, we can expect around 2,000 people to buy it. So let’s be unrealistically generous, and suggest that half of these people might pledge. That’s 1,000 people, in our slightly deluded fantasy. And let’s say our game costs $15, because that’s quite a lot but we need the cash. Even at that price, we’ve now only received $15,000 on Kickstarter. We’re going to need some pretty impressive tier rewards to convince people to throw more in. In fact, we need people to pledge three times as much if we’re going to get close to the $50k to qualify for OUYA funding.

So you’ve got an audience so small, and so unlikely to pay for anything on their open platform, that being able to raise enough money from OUYA customers seems enormously unlikely, even if your game is somehow needing that much cash.

Temptation

Fancy $50,000 for free? There’s this great get rich quick scheme I can tell you about! Put $50k of your own money into your Kickstarter, and OUYA will give you another $50k! Withdraw the lot, and gosh, look at all the free money!

It may sound a cynical response, but it’s one that’s extremely easily exploited. The incentive is put in place for the less scrupulous to take advantage of. Hell, it could tempt the scrupulous too. Retro Remakes’ Rob Fearon seems pretty sure most could be tempted. “There’s bound to be outliers,” says the Death Ray Manta developer, “But in the main, you can’t seriously expect to include humans and then expect this sort of thing to not happen. Given the terms, it’d be almost insane not to just raise the money elsewhere and bung it in because OUYA are giving you free money, so why the hell not? Honestly, if I had access to $50k right now, I’d be seriously tempted. I could buy a lot of videogame with the match funding.”

We have absolutely no evidence that Gridiron Thunder’s Kickstarter project has done anything wrong. What we do have is a bunch of very odd looking information that doesn’t seem to make sense. A project that’s own Kickstarter page made it clear the game was almost complete already (it was due to release only a week after their fundraising ended), asking for $75,000, and very peculiarly managing to raise an epic $171,000 with only 183 pledgers. That’s an average pledge of an incredible £934! In fact, it was nowhere near that spread out, with perplexing pledging spikes throughout the campaign. On the fifth and sixth day the game received $10,000 from 6 and 3 backers respectively, then come day 12 $25k appeared from just 4 backers.

Another $25k arrived five days later, this time on a day with 29 backers. Then came another $25k on day 24 appeared despite only 9 pledgers, two more $10k entries on days 29 and 30, and then an extraordinary $45 on the final day, with just 12 people providing it. Coo. Those are some generous people, eh? Also rather oddly, on 20 of the campaign’s days put together, only $3,707 was raised. One industrious commenter also spotted how many accounts there were donating that had the same names, and how 61% of the pledges had requested no reward! Right now this project stands to receive another $171,009 from OUYA, plus a further $100,000 for being the highest funded game to have entered the promotion so far. We’ve contacted creators MogoTXT for their perspective.

And it’s not the only game to come under suspicion. Elementary, My Dear Holmes!, whose Kickstarter video won us over, has had its funding suspended by Kickstarter, although they won’t say why. However (as reported by Gama), in this case the developers contacted Kickstarter themselves to say they’d heard of concerning reports, and have stated that were suspicious donations have brought them over their funding goal, they’d fully accept that they shouldn’t receive the money.

So after just a month of this FTG Fund, there are two examples of its being exploited, and rather concerningly, no comment on any of it from OUYA, despite much demand from developers and customers. In fact, visit their site and it still loudly boasts about how it’s “freed two games!”, despite one of them having had its funding suspended, and the other looking enormously suspicious. It’s complete denial, with their recent non-comment on the matter utterly ignoring the issues.


So then

But this is a PC site, and this is a console issue, isn’t it? Well, only kind of. Because the developers OUYA have been courting (and they have an outreach team contacting them directly) are the ones who create us many of our favourite indie games. They’re after the PC developers who thrive on open platforms. And they’re attempting to convince them (albeit very poorly) to become entangled in six month contracts that prevent releasing their games on other platforms, currently including the PC. (Despite rumours that they may change this, at the time of writing the offer still requires OUYA-only exclusivity.)

And frankly, we care about indie developers, and we don’t like it when they’re not being treated well. And a deal like this doesn’t seem to be helping anyone who needs the help. Bithell thinks it’s not even helping OUYA. “Indie games aren’t system sellers (yet),” he explains. “I can’t think of many indie developers I’d buy a $100 console to play. So why would you put up a barrier like this for support? If I was OUYA, I’d be using half of that pot of money to fund small cool games for good will and to maybe find a hidden gem, and the rest courting the big indies into bringing across their back catalogues. As it is, we’re getting a shoddy football game no one wants, which will likely cost them a quarter of a million dollars.”

We contacted OUYA (as best we could – they’re not exactly forthcoming with contact details) earlier today, but have yet to hear anything back.

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135 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Tom De Roeck says:

    I dont think a lot of developers are going to go for this deal. I certainly wouldnt. So the OUYA is doing so poorly then?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh, I don’t know. If they actually shipped something, they’ve set a new record for success for Linux-based consoles.

      (Tee-hee.)

      • LimEJET says:

        They’re still behind the OpenPandora in that respect, I’m afraid.

    • Corb says:

      The Ouya really just seems like a fart in the wind…

    • Alien426 says:

      Clark’s developers got some money from Ouya (they were not on Kickstarter, though) for a timed exclusivity….
      Read about it in their release news: http://www.indiedb.com/games/clark/news/clark-is-online

    • spamenigma says:

      Ouya seemed to tick all the boxes, but after pledging for the ‘I’m special brown one’ I found out that boxes have six sides and this only ticked one side!

  2. trjp says:

    As an Android developer I’ve been skeptical of Ouya from-the-off, I think their Kickstarter success has amplified their issues rather than resolving them and I maintain that it will be dead-and-gone in a year.

    I know this flies in the face of what many developers believe – I know some developers have worked with Ouya and had positive experiences but I maintain that the potential earnings for them are hardly worth the time they spend.

    Ouya is a fundamentally flawed idea – a console people don’t need with a business model no-one understands (and controllers no-one wants to use).

    If nothing else tho, I’m hoping people might learn how NOT to do this – but I suspect that learning won’t begin until the firesale…

    • Premium User Badge

      Tom De Roeck says:

      Youre an android developer? DAMNIT MAN, MAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO PORT SUMTHING MAYBE

      • trjp says:

        You can find me via the Greenlight Lite stuff I did over here

        http://www.shrewdlogarithm.com/glhome.html

        Tho i suspect I’m not the Android ninja you’re looking for (I’m really a multi-platform one-size-fits-all guy these days).

        Ouya is inextricably linked to Android tho and yet they’re adding NOTHING to the platform and expecting to perform miracles. As I discovered, locking yourself into one platform – even the biggest smartphone platform on earth – isn’t wise. Locking yourself into a TINY subset of that – hmmm….

    • Shuck says:

      Yeah, speaking as a developer, Ouya didn’t seem like an appealing platform to develop for before it was released (too much emphasis on F2P dynamics and too many people making it obvious they were going to buy it purely for emulation); it became even less appealing after it was released. Given that the dynamic they’ve created (people unwilling to buy games, developers unwilling to develop for small audience that doesn’t buy games) isn’t going to change, I don’t see Ouya having much of a future.

      I understand what the economic model they were going for was – they were trying to bring smart-phone/tablet dynamics (free-to-play and really cheap games) to consoles. Except that they apparently failed to realize that it required a really, really big audience to work. It needs a much bigger user base to make it worthwhile for developers to bother with it, and unlike phones and tablets, it had no utility besides games, so no reason to buy it (except for emulation, which doesn’t help developers or Ouya).

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bradamantium says:

    What, is it inconceivable that football fans unsatisfied with Madden would start pumping an average ~$1000 donation into a crap looking game slated for release this very month? I think not!

    It’s bad enough that OUYA is asking developers to shoot themselves in the foot just to bring some halfway decent titles to their platform, but it’s even worse that they’re keeping quiet on the controversy. I was excited for the OUYA back when it seemed like a unique prospect, a sort of Steam Box working from the other direction, but they simply haven’t (and, I’d say at this point, can’t) follow through. They need to quit trying to drag indies down with them.

    • The Random One says:

      But if you look at that comment linked, there hasn’t been an average donation of ~$1000. There have been specific days where very few backers pledged around $10000, often for no reward.

  4. Sheng-ji says:

    With the Vita TV announcement, it’s hard not to write off the ouya as a failed project already.

    • chargen says:

      It pairs well with the Vita in the “failed projects we can write off already”.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I’m not so certain about that – the Vita is a premium product and is being positioned fairly central to the ps4 experience with every ps4 game being required to program for the vita functionality, it has a library of some of the best games from the last decade, it has playstation plus – free games every month for the equivalent of £3/month, Sony are targeting the indie market pretty aggressively themselves and signing deals which bring great benefits to the devs while simultaneously creating new IP and courting AAA games; and of course, lets not forget, Sony have the financial means to make vita work, something they clearly still want to do.

        Let’s not forget, most people who purchase the Vita TV will be doing so to get the streaming capabilities – the fact it is a games console is pure bonus!

        • tormos says:

          Thanks Kazuo Hirai! (and or low level sony marketing drone)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So that, by your inscrutable loigic makes you Julie Uhrman then, or some low level Ouya marketing drone right?

            Here’s a thought, get your facts together before throwing unsubstantiated accusations around.

      • Liudeius says:

        I wouldn’t say that.
        It costs as much as the Ouya ($100), but has AAA support straight off (Sony), a back-log of games for the PSV (admittedly few), and it has some combined functionality with the PS4 (Which is reaching out to indies).

        At that price, all they need is a few really good games to make it worth the money.

        The only thing I’m not sure of which could really screw it over is memory cards. If you have to use Sony’s proprietary cards, it’s no where near as good an offer.

        • Premium User Badge

          RobF says:

          The prices of those memory cards are obscene. Biggest disincentive to buying and downloading games on a console I’ve seen in years, ridiculous decision that.

          I’m not sold on the Vita TV yet, mainly because it all hinges on what content they’ll have for it. That said, new Minter game coming to Vita, likely supporting Vita TV. I’ll probably cave if there’s no other way to get it on the tele.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            The other, far more pricey way would be to buy a vita and have the HDMI out unlocked for you – and then it’s not tied to your TV. I don’t know if the new vitas will have that HDMI out though. From what I understand, the Vita TV will have access to all content the Vita does, it can take the cartridges, it can access the downloads etc. It is supposed to have media apps too, but Sony have a history of screwing people over with that – they don’t let Europe have Netflix and made it unreasonably difficult to switch to a US account on a single Vita.

          • Low Life says:

            The memory card prices are quite a bit better now, you can get a 32 GB one for £40 on Amazon. Still overpriced, for sure, but not as ridiculous as they used to be (what was it, £65?).

            That said, at least the Vita is a functional device with a bunch of good games and wide range of support behind it, none of which apply to the Ouya.

          • VengefulGiblets says:

            Sony announced at one of their press conferences that they are lowering the price of their memory cards. That shouldn’t be an issue for much longer, if it even still is an issue.

        • Premium User Badge

          welverin says:

          It also plays PSP games, though those would be digital only, my guess is it would also play PS1 games supported by those two systems as well.

          So out of the box the thing will have a huge library of games, with quite a few worth playing, something the Ouya may well never have. Even if the thing is DoA it could still be a good investment for some people.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I’ve gotta say, that thing basically blows the ouya out of the water sadly enough.

  5. HaVoK308 says:

    Hmm, you give people an open console and wonder why nobody is buying games. It is an emulator/piracy box, just like most rational people said it would be. It was doomed from the start, because of this progressive/liberal mentality. No developer is going to make a decent living developing games for the OUYA platform. This was pretty obvious from the beginning, to as I said, rational people.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      It’s easy to get content, sure, but the OUYA folks should also have tried harder to assuage themselves of a decent collection of games available. I’m trying to imagine how much effort and money Sony and Microsoft spend to assure themselves their consoles actually have content available for their users to purchase (prior to the release of said consoles, as well). Reading this article, I doubt the people behind the OUYA even tried to do that.

    • Jay says:

      You mean like how nobody ever buys PC games as it’s so easy to pirate them instead? I don’t buy either of those arguments.

      It’s failing because it’s being run into the ground by people so ineffective at their jobs they’re actually managing to actively scare away the little developer traction they have in order to bankroll nothing projects of interest to no-one.

      • Premium User Badge

        DrScuttles says:

        And let’s not forget the Nintendo DS and Wii for their ease of piracy and homebrew and how that killed those systems.

      • S Jay says:

        Let’s not forget Android itself.

    • InternetBatman says:

      So you’re posting on a PC site that open platforms are a sign of a failed progressive/liberal mentality? Really?

    • smg77 says:

      Ah…I was just thinking to myself that I hadn’t read any really dumb comments on the internet yet this month. Thanks for setting things right.

  6. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I was never very much into the OUYA, but I do think that this is not a good sign for people who got one. This seems like a desperate attempt to court games developers to me.

  7. rustybroomhandle says:

    What the heck is going on in that screenshot?

    • LionsPhil says:

      The guy in the ritualistic blue circle is performing the ancient dance of power which destroys gravity.

      This is a foul, and his team will be charged five runs as a penalty.

    • Premium User Badge

      RobF says:

      I’m sort of hoping it’s a bit like Saints Row IV but it probably isn’t.

    • El Mariachi says:

      Yeah that is one broken play. Apparently the quarterback (who is now offscreen along with the entire offensive line) has handed off to the running back (you can tell because he isn’t wearing a QB’s number) in the blue circle for an option play, in which the RB has foolishly decided to pass despite having no pocket whatsoever. However, considering none of the clones on the opposing team are likely to reach him, having leapt high into the air from eight yards away, maybe he’ll get away with it.

      But what’s with that lighting? It looks more appropriate to a 1940s boxing ring than a football field.

      • Premium User Badge

        JamesTheNumberless says:

        So, are you saying that if he had a pocket, he could simply put the ball in his pocket and hide it from the other team? He’d have to be wearing looser trousers for that though, right?

  8. deimocrates says:

    PS Vita TV sounds like a much better deal :o

  9. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Quite frankly, if after release your first big idea to help your struggling platform, claimed to be the Good Guy Console, is to use exactly the same tactics as the supposedly Big Evil Console People…
    I’unno. Makes you seem a bit invertebrate, does it not?

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      I can already picture that meeting, with that burly man or woman shouting across the conference table:
      — We can’t afford ideals! Someone has to make the tough choices!

  10. Viroso says:

    That part about Ouya simply handing people free money because an indie dev needing 50k is too much, isn’t that far fetched? Just proposing Ouya gives money away like that. Specially when coupled with other issues you guys raised, such as the exclusivity deal.

    Plus, if it is so easy to just come up with 50k to get Ouya’s 50k, then why is it so hard for an indie dev to work with 50k.

    I don’t actually think this Free the Games thing is a good idea, specially because as you guys pointed out, there isn’t much of a user base, but some of the criticism drawn here doesn’t make much sense either.

    For an instance, platform exclusivity. There are many games that remained for a long time in the mobile wastelands only to grace PC later and draw good sales for the developer. Is six month exclusivity really THAT far fetched? Wouldn’t a shorter exclusivity time also be bad for Ouya?

    Then with how much money it takes to make a game and who would play it on Ouya. I think their plan was to get strong indie titles on Ouya, titles that would sell a $100 console. Titles that would take some significant cash to get done. I’ve seen how much money people spend to make simple mobile games, it can get to some 10k, even more, one person studio. And then for titles like Braid, Limbo, Amnesia, you can expect even more.

    Besides, just the fact that Ouya made millions in the first place shows people somehow would want to spend $100 on it. A platform that is made obsolete by the PC, smart phones and consoles, still people want it. There’s, somehow, definitely a market for the Ouya.

    I think that is going on right now is all the people who got the Ouya realized what it really is, mostly mobile games and stuff you can do on your PC, not necessarily the fantasy of the underdog standing up to the manshooter-bro-activision monster that stole the joy of consoles from them. This Free the Games fund, if it worked, maybe would bring some good titles to the Ouya and deliver its promise.

    Of course the whole thing is looking bad now because of Elementar and Gridiron, plus the way Ouya is handling all of it. But, you know, not entirely a bad idea and the issues you guys raise aren’t that more solid than the Free the Games fund itself.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      “Plus, if it is so easy to just come up with 50k to get Ouya’s 50k, then why is it so hard for an indie dev to work with 50k.”

      If you have 50k, it’s easy to defraud the kickstarter system to make it look like the 50k you’ve donated your own project has come from genuine backers. It’s not easy to come up with 50k for an indie dev but that’s the problem isn’t it, the indies who need the money won’t be able to access it while conmen will be (trying) to get a hold of it.

      “That part about Ouya simply handing people free money because an indie dev needing 50k is too much, isn’t that far fetched? ”

      That’s pretty much how Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo and Sega (Used to) handle exclusives so it’s not really far fetched.

      • Viroso says:

        Describing exclusivity deals on consoles as just handing free money isn’t painting the whole picture. Giving away free money is one thing, being an investor is another.

        Also, conmen who are making an entire game? Maybe it can happen, though previous con kickstarters I’ve seen didn’t show as much content as Elementar and Gridiron, even if Gridiron just smells incredibly fishy. But you’re right, it does open the door for cons, if Ouya is stupid enough to hand 50k without even checking who they’re handing it to. Would not surprise me if it happened.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I’m not saying the whole game is a scam, I mean that at the point where you pledge money to your own project through a fake account, you have just employed a confidence trick and I would not be surprised it it was very common on kickstarter already.

          I worked on a microsoft exclusive title called sudeki, no, Microsoft were not investors in Climax at that time. Yes they did fund the development of the game. Of course they needed regular updates and builds, yes they had opinions on how the game should be developed and yes they sent reps to the studio but essentially they gave us a bigger budget in exchange for exclusivity; they were buying exclusivity from us.

          • Viroso says:

            Yes, and like you said, they did other things too. What Ouya is doing here is buying exclusivity, for 50k, on a game they expect to get another 50k.

            What the article did was criticize the six month exclusivity deal and propose Ouya just went around handing money. This is why I don’t think the issues raised here aren’t rock solid.

            However I suppose maybe they could offer smaller deals and also a smaller exclusivity window. Most games sell a ton of units during the first month. A one month exclusivity deal I don’t think would work for Ouya, people would just wait it out. Maybe there’s some middle ground between that and six months. But then we’d come up with a exclusivity deal that would be give or take 2 months away from 6.

            If they’re smart during these six months they’d probably fit the game on a seasonal sale, which is the only way a game picks up its sales number after initial release.

            Still, the way I see it, it isn’t that absurd.

          • El Mariachi says:

            I’m surprised how often it doesn’t happen — Kickstarter projects that reach their deadlines like $12 short are pretty common. If the clock is ticking down, why on earth would you not pledge that to yourself? And that’s not nearly as ethically questionable as scamming someone for matching funds.

          • Baines says:

            Correction: Ouya is paying $50,000 to $250,000. The minimum to qualify is $50,000, but they will match up to $250,000. And the Kickstarter that raises the most money gets an extra $100,000 bonus.

            The article points out that:
            1) Developers who would benefit most from Ouya’s money giveaway aren’t likely to be reaching the minimum to qualify for the program.
            2) The Ouya audience alone isn’t large enough to fund a $50,000 Kickstarter project (and non-Ouya owners might be less willing to fund a game that has a six month exclusivity deal.)
            3) Ouya’s money will pretty much have to cover expenses for that six month period, because even an Ouya hit apparently sells in the low thousands.
            4) The program is mind-numbingly easy to rig.
            5) There is strong circumstantial evidence that the program has already been rigged.
            6) Ouya execs don’t appear to care that the program can be, and apparently already has been, exploited. Nor how that information affects their image.

    • Jay says:

      “I think their plan was to get strong indie titles on Ouya, titles that would sell a $100 console. Titles that would take some significant cash to get done. I’ve seen how much money people spend to make simple mobile games, it can get to some 10k, even more, one person studio. And then for titles like Braid, Limbo, Amnesia, you can expect even more.”

      This is a fine idea and everything, but as John mentions in the article, where does the funding come from for that? The OUYA doesn’t have anything like the size of userbase that can readily raise $50k+ for kickstartered exclusives, the numbers just don’t add up. Never mind that even attempting to court the bigger indies through kickstarter is kind of silly when these are the sort of people they should be talking to directly. It all feels like a bit of a halfway house that doesn’t work for anyone besides those willing to game the system.

      • Viroso says:

        Ouya raised millions, somehow. 100k users is actually a lot of users, even 60k is a lot, and these 60k are backers, some of which are going to be more engaged. 27% buying games would probably change if they could offer a strong title that cannot be acquired anywhere else.

        However I agree with you that the kickstarter thing isn’t the ideal solution. Maybe if it was just one solution, on top of going after specific developers and offering them a deal. Maybe they’re doing that too.

        For me, after seeing how much money Ouya made, how many backers it had, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see 50k games funded.
        I mean look at this:
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/infinitap/neverending-nightmares?ref=card

        There’s also Gridiron and Elementary, which raised a ton of money, but these two are fishy. Aside from that there aren’t any other projects doing so well. There probably won’t be many more the way the whole thing went downhill.

        When I first heard of the Ouya I thought it was going to fail on Kickstarter, I thought to myself who would possibly need that. Then it went ahead and raise 8.5 million and it raised money fast.

        Again, Free the Games fund, I don’t think it’s the best of ideas, just like the Ouya itself, but I also don’t think the points raised in this article are that solid. Not all of them at least.

        • P.Funk says:

          You’re evaluating the wrong data. You sidestepping the more important numbers that are also in the article. You did read the article right?

          “So let’s say you’ve got yourself 100,000 potential customers – well, we can’t. Because in July, of all the OUYA owners, only 27% paid for a game. So we’re closer to 27,000 potential customers. But then, the biggest selling game on OUYA in July was OUYA-exclusive Towerfall, and that had sold a total of 2,000 copies. That indicates that a big hit on the machine could look likely to see around 7% of owners buy your game. Your finished game.”

          You say “100k users is a lot” but its not users that are important, its paying users. 27% of an assumed 100k is only 27000 and of those you’re not going to get 100% of them to buy your game, which is then demonstrated in how the top selling game sold 2 000 copies.

          So right now your best bet is 2 000 copies sold per 100k users. Thats the optimistic figure. Its a console touting itself as open source so the user base isn’t here to pay for titles like they do on the mainstream ones.

          If I were an idie developer, and I could muster $50k why in god’s name would I limit myself to selling 2 000 units? If I could get that many sales per 27 000 paying customers per month then I’d want to be on a platform that promotes this, like PC and get Greenlit instead. 6 months x 2 000 = 12 000 sales during exclusivity.

          You do realize that business is about math and not being a fucking idiot because you can’t do it?

          Logic brah.

          • Viroso says:

            @P.Funk Why do you think acting like a dick works for anything? This isn’t a stage, nobody is watching, you don’t have to go around owning noobs. Just be civil, talk to people as you would face to face.

          • P.Funk says:

            The fucking idiot isn’t him, its the person who thinks the math of this offer makes sense for their business. That obviously didn’t come off the way I meant it. The logic failure is all his though, I ascribe that comment entirely to him.

            Also, face to face conversations often involve plenty of swearing, especially when arguing gaming over beer.

        • Alecthar says:

          The Kickstarter page you linked to explicitly lists support for Windows, Mac, Linux and Ouya, so that’s a rather terrible example of an Ouya-exclusive game raising 50K or more.

          Also, the best selling Ouya game so far is Towerfall, I believe, which is an Ouya exclusive title. Pretty much everyone seems to enjoy it, but sales of the game still only represent a small portion of the relatively small user base. An Ouya “killer app” cannot reasonably expect to do better. That isn’t a guarantee that it wouldn’t, but no person hoping to make money should be prepared to shackle themselves to a single platform unless the sales figures and additional funding are worthwhile. In this case, devs have to spend time, money and effort organizing a Kickstarter drive, and then succeed, in order to get a portion of the exclusivity cash (the rest is provided after the game ships). It’s simply not a good plan, in addition to having an Orwellian name.

          • Viroso says:

            That game is listed as a Free the Games fund game on the Ouya page. So I assume it’ll release exclusively on the Ouya for six months if it wants to get those 50k. It can list Linux, PC, Mac if it wants to, it’s still going to be an Ouya exclusive. If

            Also remember Towerfall is a MP game, the creator himself was suprised at how well it did on the Ouya, selling for $15. I don’t think a MP indie game can be compared to a game that could be a solid SP experience. Besides, 2000 on the first month isn’t bad.

            I genuinely believe a solid SP game would sell more on Ouya. Besides, remember that we’re talking about a crowdfunded game with extra 50K injected into it, that means the developer will not have to cough up the money themselves.

            Now, is sticking to the Ouya the best choice? No. But is getting extra 50k worth it? Could be. What I’m pointing out here is that this isn’t an absurdly awful deal, it depends on the dev. A 50k budget is not impossible, it isn’t far fetched for an indie dev with a solid project and no name to get that on Kickstarter, getting extra 50k is good and the Ouya has shown that somehow it has potential, I just believe it is largely untapped for a lack of strong offerings.

    • Sam says:

      Just giving money to developers to make platform exclusive games is a long standing thing. Titanfall isn’t exclusive to the Xbone (and Windows PC) because the developers have a deep personal love of Microsoft. Ouya contacting a bunch of indie developers that they’ve heard of, or having some kind of submission process to get an “Ouya grant” could work fine. It would likely mean that they give funding to some games that end up not being finished or being terrible, but that’s to be expected in the land of video game business.

      The problem with the $50k minimum is that many small scale developers can only dream of raising that much cash, and it’s the small scale developers that are Ouya’s only real hope for getting exclusive games.

      For instance a well known developer like Team Meat could raise the required $50k on Kickstarter, but they wouldn’t want to be Ouya exclusive. Even if every Ouya owner bought their game it would be a fraction of how much they could sell on Steam.

      Compare that to a less known developer, their Greenlight page gathering dust, getting a couple of sales per month through other online stores. They would be much more willing to make their next game an Ouya exclusive in return for having a few months rent paid by the nice people at Ouya. Do that for a few hundred developers and with any luck you’ll get a few really good games that will convince people to buy Ouya. People seem to think that indie games can’t sell consoles, but I’ve heard plenty of people who are nudged into buying an Ouya because they heard how fun Towerfall is.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Yeah but most indie games stand to make a lot more money by releasing a paid alpha. Can you do that on Wii-a?

        • Viroso says:

          You can’t, but I also wouldn’t say MOST indie titles do the paid alpha thing.

  11. Tarvis says:

    “Free the Games?” By restricting them to the Ouya for half a year?

    I don’t follow.

    • Baines says:

      Maybe it is like “foot-to-ball”. It really means “free games”, as in all the games you can get for free when you defraud Ouya’s poorly planned program.

    • Josh W says:

      I was thinking that, very ironic.

  12. Pich says:

    OUYA? More like OUNO.

  13. BurningPet says:

    Even i was tempted to do what the gridiron team “allegedly” done. with the “most funded bonus” we are looking at an extremely low risk, almost 150% ROI (minus the fees for kickstarter and the payment processing) in 6 months (assuming you surpass gridiron and aim for the $200k goal).

    This is isn’t even finding of a strange, almost hidden loop hole. it’s immediate and obvious to anyone who has merely glanced at it with a critical eye.

    Can’t really understand what’s going on with Ouya. they should just form a talent scouting team and start hunting developers with upfront cash funding and timed reduced fees from their store.. if Sony is willing to spend time contacting developers, so should the so called “indie console” team.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The whole concept of an “indie console” is bonkers. The lowest barrier to entry will always be the PC, because everyone’s already got one of those and you don’t need anyone’s approval to release software for it.

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        A nice cheap affordable box that anyone can develop for is worthwhile, right? Everyone has a PC but not everyone has a PC that can be guaranteed to run your videogame, that’s where the joys of a fixed spec comes in.

        • S Jay says:

          Nowadays, everyone has a PC that can run an Android game (maybe?)

        • Silent_Thunder says:

          The OUYA’s specs include a Tegra 3 processor, which the best version of has a clock rate of 1.6GHZ, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage total, in addition to no mention at all of any GPU, which means thats done on the CPU as well.

          Even a store bought home computer or laptop from your local Walmart from the past few years blows it out of the water.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            Store bought computers from Walmart or wherever don’t cost less than £100, generally are a bit more hassle to hook up to the TV due to not being a tiny little box, don’t come with a joypad and can’t promise you that everything you buy to run on it will work with it. Which is absolutely something the Ouya and similar devices can do.

            Of course, you can also get a Wii for £25 second hand but there’s definitely a value to this sort of thing existing even if it is an underpowered thing in the main.

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            Tegra is a system on a chip (SoC), which means it’s a CPU, GPU, and RAM all in one.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            But does it include a Vomit Making System?

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            Wait a minute. That’s not what VMS stands for!

          • P.Funk says:

            RobF, What the actual fuck are you talking about?

            Reply #1 – You suggest that not every PC owned by people can play an indie game unlike a cheap console, obviously implying this is the Ouya.

            Reply #2 – You suggest that the Ouya is a better alternative than a Laptop because its cheaper even though its much less powerful than the cheapest PC and as such wouldn’t be able to play all Indie games.

            I don’t understand how any of that adds up. If I have a PC then its basically guaranteed to play better games than the Ouya can, and there won’t be any that I can’t access worth playing on PC either. Who would have a credit card and an internet connection to buy these indie games that doesn’t have a laptop built in the last 5 years?

            Your two arguments are like Superman staring at Bizzaro Superman, except they’re the same Clark Kent… but… GAH>!

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            P.Funk, you’re also missing the bit where you need a PC to develop for it too.

            I’m not pitching the two in competition with each other, man.

          • Vercinger says:

            You need a PC to develop for the OUYA…

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Ouya is not an indie console at all. A good “indie console” would play open games, like Linux or something and it would not be possible to have exclusive, because if a game works on the indie console it just works on that OS. If Ouya is truly just an Android device, wouldn’t the games work on any android? No because it’s not open and it’s not indie.

        • Premium User Badge

          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Since when does indie mean open though? It just means independent. Doing your thing your way and not being answerable to someone higher up the food chain.

          If the Xbox division split off from Microsoft, they would be indie too, no longer affected by what strategy their parent corporation had in mind for them, but also responsible for the bottom line (currently at $3bn in the red :) ) Whether their platform was open, closed, or somewhere in between wouldn’t change their indie status.

  14. db1331 says:

    Just take this thing out back and shoot it already. From everything I’ve read on it, it only had one exclusive game worth playing, Towerfall, which is now coming to PC (If not already available?) with additional content. Anyone in their right mind could tell this thing would flop as soon as it was announced.

  15. Megazell says:

    Death to all consoles! Seriously!

  16. Sardonic says:

    There are no console gamers dumber than those who preach in favor of the ScreOUYA.

  17. SaVi says:

    I heard a profound argument that the console manufacturers are actually embracing indie games to add a little diversity to their plattforms, because AAA Publishers and Developers have been playing it too save. In a way, indie games are system sellers, but doubtfully through exclusivity.

    – Edit

    I myself liked the OUYA concept, but it’s execution failed. There must be something going terribly wrong with how they communicate if I only hear from it from tech sites, and not seeing it in stores.

    • Shuck says:

      AAA developers are playing it increasingly safe, but the number of AAA developers has also radically decreased because of the increased cost of development. Which means indie games become increasingly important over time.

  18. bit_crusherrr says:

    “please remember that we are a PC-only site. That’s PC only. P.C. O.N.L.Y. Which format? … That’s right, PC!”

    I had no idea the Ouya is a PC.

    • Metalfish says:

      I get to be John Walker for the purposes of this comment.

      *Ahem*

      READ THE ARTICLE BEFORE COMMENTING

      /Cries

    • Kaira- says:

      Down with Cardboard Children!

      … no, I didn’t actually mean it. Please don’t take me away. :(

    • John Walker says:

      Just so you know, you’re one tedious comment from being gone from here.

      • bit_crusherrr says:

        At least I don’t tell people to fuck off in the comments. I usually just voice my opinion and try to be non-offensive. #realtalk

        • sexyresults says:

          I don’t think you read the article. #realtalk #thisisn’ttwitter

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I don’t think you understand the concept of not being offensive.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Many things that are not PCs are relevant to PC gaming. Maybe some day, you’ll be relevant to something, and will understand.

  19. kwyjibo says:

    They should reduce the $50k minimum, maybe just half it.

    I don’t think a 6 month exclusivity agreement is particularly onerous. Just do your early access beta release on Ouya – and release the complete version across all platforms.

    • Shuck says:

      If Ouya is doing fund matching, then lowering the requirement just multiplies the chance of “fraud” (i.e. developer-funded fake Kickstarters). Though it seems unfair to call it fraud, as that’s the dynamic that clearly would be at play, and there’s apparently nothing in Ouya’s rules to prevent developers from doing it.

      The problem with a six month exclusive on Ouya is that it’s six months without income, effectively, given the lack of sales on the platform. And six months is longer than you can afford to spend working on an Ouya game. It just doesn’t work. (And given that you can’t even get the deal that gives any reason at all to agree to the six month exclusivity without committing fraud…)

    • Premium User Badge

      RobF says:

      “Just do your early access beta release on Ouya – and release the complete version across all platforms.”

      That’s sort of OK until you consider just how little grunt the Ouya has in that box compared to pretty much every other device out there. Using that as a baseline for any sort of early access would be crazy.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Absolutely on the spot, though this could be solved with different levels of early access. And than imo it would actually make sense.

        Limit early access for ouya simpy to make it the first development step, which in the end should give you an first release for ouya while other platforms are at the same time still in their own early access phase. This would give ouya still an advantage over other platforms and does not limit your revenue stream as developer much. You just simply focus the polish first on the platform that actually will give you early money for development, while you are not artificial hindered in development for other platforms.

  20. Reapy says:

    It might be the ouya is just not doing well, and paying for more small indie games is not what they think they need, but perhaps some bigger, more expensive games. Either way I don’t really get the point of this system when most people’s cell phones will out perform it and can easily hook up better blue tooth controllers. I guess the hard part might be getting it to your tv, but there seem to be plenty of android based linux boxes floating around that do the same thing.

    The game with the huge chunks of money coming in sound like the guy is just collecting investors, donate to kickstarter, get a 75% return on your investment, at least that is what I would be doing if I were in his place.

  21. Snargelfargen says:

    Elementary, Dear Holmes’s developer Chandola is very careful not to make accusations, but its clear he suspects that it was the OUYA folks themselves who were astroturfing his kickstarter. If that really is the case, then there are some astoundingly short-sighted and incompetent employees with access to the company’s purse strings.

    I would love to hear the inside story about what’s really going on in OUYA. Maybe in a year or so, once the money dries up and the company goes under.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      That would be so crazy if it were true, but like, who else would do it? Who else has the money to throw around to fraud a Kickstarter and would even want to? So ridiculous… That being said if they are the kind of people to do that, then they are likely the kind of people to mess it up too.

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        My completely uninformed guess is that it’s actually some 4chan-y types looking to screw with this whole OUYA indie fund thing. I can’t imagine that anyone’d be stupid enough to genuinely commit fraud that obvious, especially considering how high profile this is, though maybe I’m being optimistic. Considering how, um, less-than-popular that OUYA is with a lot of gamers, and that stuff like this has been done before (fake bids on eBay auctions, for example), it’s not exactly inconceivable that this might all be for the lulz, as it were.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Well, an account was made with the exact same name as the creator which went on to make a comment, answering a question and referring to “our game”. This account backed some other projects too. The 300 fake accounts, created in alphabetical order (and many changed their names after this had been pointed out with a few changing sex) from places which don’t exist with surprisingly similar names – these 300 fake accounts also backed the same projects as the account with the same name as the creater.

          If you’re going to do this kind of thing, don’t do it to an audience of sherlock holmes enthusiasts, seriously!

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Yeah, my point is that someone may be trying to commit blindingly obvious fraud in order to discredit the indie games fund thing. I mean, if it’s really the dev, do they really think that they’d be able to get away with something like this without OUYA, Kickstarter, or the general public noticing? $100K doesn’t generally change hands without anyone doing any due diligence, particularly not with something this high-profile. Not to mention that it wouldn’t be too hard for a third party to set the whole thing up, given how Kickstarter’s pledging system works.

            Or maybe I’m being conspiratorial, and the dev actually did it and is also a complete idiot. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was my uninformed opinion.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I see what you mean – sorry, this late at night my ability to interpret english rapidly departs my brain!

        • realitysconcierge says:

          That was my initial thought too, but when I read Snargelfargen’s comment it made a lot more sense to me than degenerates who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to just throw around.. Of course if they’re hackery types then they could maybe just poof the money out of nowhere? When I first heard about it, it did remind me of when the hackers were bothering the Cube World devs.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Well, you don’t actually get charged until the Kickstarter drive is over. It’s possible that someone could provide semi-legit CC#s and “pledge” $X without any intention of actually giving any money.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            Credit cards aren’t charged until the kickstarter is fulfilled, so it would be easy to make a suspicious pattern of pledges simply by providing false or stolen credit card information. That said, I think the devs of the Holmes game would have to piss off an online community pretty badly to be targeted. Incompetence on the part of Ouya seems a bit more likely, given all the other issues they’ve had in the past.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            I was more thinking they’d be trying to discredit Ouya, if anything. Lots of people seem to be angry at the thing, and the response to this indie exclusive drive has been lukewarm at best. Again, just speculation, but it seems plausible to me.

          • realitysconcierge says:

            I’M SO ANGRY THAT SOMEONE WOULD MAKE A LITTLE COMPUTER THAT PLAYS ANDROID GAMES ON A TV!

          • The Random One says:

            The kickstarter is over. The credit cards have been charged. This would have been a surprisingly expensive defamation campaign. (Well, I think. I don’t know how much defamation campaigns usually cost.)

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            With the full admission that I’m not really checking my facts, I believe that you don’t get charged until the funding deadline, which for Holmes would have been tomorrow had they not suspended their campaign (per their KS page).

        • Premium User Badge

          DantronLesotho says:

          My money’s on the PR firm that they hired. It doesn’t make sense for 4chan-y types to try and defraud something for no reason. Even the most harmless of raids had at least a stupid reason, and you’d see a lot more evidence of it. These accounts were created to be innocuous and to not trip off alarms. I’ve worked at companies that created fake twitter/facebook accounts to make the community look better, and everything about Ouya’s corporate management screams “we don’t know how to actually talk to the market” so of course they’d hire a PR firm. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an actuarial table that showed how much money could be invested in marketing to fund your own game and get returns.

  22. realitysconcierge says:

    I’ve gotta say I despise exclusivity, but if you seriously want a console to succeed, you’ve GOT to have some first party titles. If you don’t, then there isn’t any reason to own your console, period.

    • P.Funk says:

      So why not just give them the fucking money straight up and have them sign a contract for it like any other sane console owner does?

      Microsoft bought Bungie to ensure Halo exclusivity for Xbox. They went out with cash and said “Hey brah, you’re with us”, and the PC crowd have been raging every since.

      Dicking around with cute PR campaigns about “freeing games” is just idiotic. Its a PR shindig that does nothing but stall their own strategy.

  23. Moraven says:

    Lower the requirement to $10k (or even $5k).

    Require 500+ backers. But would not stop people scamming to hit the $100k bonus.

  24. bigjig says:

    I don’t really understand why you’d want an ouya when something like the ps vita tv is coming out. Persona 4 Golden or random shitty indie game #435213452. Hmm.. decisions, decisions..

  25. jellydonut says:

    It seems like they’re taking a page from the big console makers – that is, the ‘be an asshole’ page.

    That’s the wrong page, guys.

  26. Duke of Chutney says:

    this is hilarious. The decision making followed by the stubborn resolve to follow the ship down is common place with my employers. Can’t lose face now can we, just PR and put a spin on it some more.

    • P.Funk says:

      That only works if you’re already rich as Riccitiello… err Roosevelt.

  27. Riggo says:

    That industrious commenter is a good looking guy! :-)

    My fundamental problem with the OUYA while it was running on ks, was that Julie came across as a used car salesman and she has done nothing to change that perception to date.

    The complete denial that they continue to spew is ridiculous! A four year old could see that Gridiron Thunder was scamming the system. I spent 3 days digging through the dirt on Holmes, but it took less than an hour of research on Gridiron Thunder to expose the toxic waste that existed.

    The sad thing is that Julie is most likely spending KS backer cash to fund this pile of crap program and the backers have no recourse!

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      The cynic in me assumes that somehow julie gets a cut of all of this.

    • The Random One says:

      Julie and the rest of the OUYA PR team would do well to learn that due to supply and demand the most valuable thing is what’s scarce, and nothing’s more scarce on the internet than humility so they should try to display some.

  28. Wedge says:

    Seriously though. Her twitter image is FUCKING TERRIFYING. Why would you voluntarily represent yourself with something like that?

  29. crunchyfrog555 says:

    I find it incredibly worrying that a company that is making an entertainment product for the mass market cannot be easily contacted.

    They should have the access to their press office READILY available, minimum.

    That doesn’t give me a lot of faith.

    • P.Funk says:

      “I find it incredibly worrying that a company that is making an entertainment product for the mass market cannot be easily contacted.”

      Worrying, or entertaining?

  30. pbrand says:

    I… what?

    “Many indie games don’t cost $50,000 to make.”

    $50k USD is enough to pay a mediocre programmer for a year full time. If someone wants to take time off their “real” job in order to push through video game development and deliver a product in a timely manner (let’s just say, one year) the development cost is not as low as you would think.

    Now, consider that a game is not only programming, but also art and sound engineering too. Not everyone is a DaVinci that is experienced in all three areas professionally to the point that one can make a good game with their skillset entirely solo.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      While that’s all true, many indie developers work full time in other jobs and not just in games – many many businesses are set up with the owner not drawing a wage.

      • Jack Mack says:

        Time is money, whether you’re being paid for it or not.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Yes but you don’t physically need cash to spend your time on something. There are not many people in this world who literally have no leisure time.

    • Josh W says:

      That actually suggests it might be a good deal for a 2 person development team; take the 6 month exclusive, live off the money for 6 months while designing something else, then release it everywhere else!

      On the other hand, if they did it as 25,000 for 3 months, that would probably be even better.

  31. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    Thank you for covering this story in such an eloquent and concise manner. Polygon has done a good job as well but you always seem to package everything together quite nicely. I am surprised you didn’t mention the team behind Gridiron Thunder threatening to sue a commenter/backer though; it’s somewhat relevant: http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2013/08/21761-mogotxt-threatens-legal-action-against-backer-on-gridiron-thunder-campaign-page/

  32. Lev Astov says:

    “…and no established indie would risk pissing off their fans by forcing them onto a platform.”

    Didn’t some indie developer just do exactly that? I forget who now, but they’ve signed up to exclusivity on one of the new consoles.

  33. MaximKat says:

    Would someone please tell Rob Fearon that neither “ask” nor “spend” are nouns?

  34. belgand says:

    The other problem is that this is aimed at Kickstarted games. If the developer is planning on taking that money that means that their audience knows up front (or should unless they’re being unethical) that it will be exclusive to the OUYA. That cuts down on their potential backer base immediately. Historically games that have succeeded the best on Kickstarter were being made with PC as the lead platform.

    It also means that since you’re already dealing with a small installed base and that since OUYA itself was a success on Kickstarter they’re more likely to make the majority of their sales entirely from Kickstarter. So not only are they going to get less money up front, but they’ll be unlikely to make much in the way of sales after that.

    And the point of all this is to make a killer app (or series of them) that will encourage people to buy an OUYA? That seems pretty unlikely.