The OUYA is a micro-console, which runs it’s own version of the Android operating system. Since it’s release sales and critics alike have pretty much condemned the console, as many fail to understand the possible appeal. Opinion aside, it appears that it is the developers and publishers of these indie titles that will have the largest say.
Sophie Houlden recently pulled her title Rose and Game from the OUYA marketplace. This was in reaction to OUYA’s well…..lack of reaction. The company itself has managed to make so many mistakes, as well as aggravating many consumers, media types and developers in the process. This lead to a statement or rant from Sophie Houlden;
The reason is not because of any flaw of the console (I love it), or the game (the Ouya version may even be the best), or sales (I average 1 sale per day, way more than elsewhere). The reason is because I am no longer comfortable supporting the Ouya company.
It’s their inability to admit that they have fucked up. Shit is blowing up on all sides, every single piece of PR that is put out damages Ouya’s reputation more, and the plastic-marketing-smile never seems to come off. They never get serious to deal with stuff. They never change course when things are going down the toilet. They try to have this image of an indie, but it’s only an image.
I have tried (desperately) to tell people that the console is good, well worth $100 and that there are some great games on there, that the policy of letting anyone publish on the console for free is amazing and a big step forward… but Ouya are making me look stupid for supporting them. And I don’t like being made to look stupid.
There is more to this rather passionate statement should you wish to read it all, just click here.
OUYA also hit another stumbling block earlier in the year when it pledged to match funding on any successful Kickstarter project that pledged a six month exclusivity to the company, known as the Free the Game Fund. Whilst this sounds like a business offering a fantastic opportunity to up and coming developers, the truth couldn’t be any further removed. Two games (Elementary My Dear Holmes and Gridiron Thunder) that were part of the Kickstarter project have been accused of falsifying pledged funding in an attempt to gain a contract from OUYA. This effectively would have led to free funding of a game, by OUYA, that faked it’s own success. The pledge has now come under much criticism and scrutiny by many indie developers. Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell had this to say
A few rich guys manipulating OUYA into giving them a ton of money for a shoddy thing…..There’s no way I want to bring a project to a system run by the kinda people who would come up with such a silly scheme. It’s a dumb PR stunt, which is throwing money at charlatans and keeping great projects off their platform.”
Gridiron Thunder came under suspicion due to the fact that they had 183 backers that around $1000 each. Since these glaring issues came to light Gridiron Thunder and it’s makers have since been cleared by Kickstarter for any wrong doing. Although the same cannot be said for the makers of Elementary My Dear Holmes. The developers managed to generate around $60,000 dollars and the average fund is expected to be around the mark of $70 per person. Not overly suspicious you might say, but after some sleuth work by Kickstarter, certain pledges have come from fictional accounts. The investigation is still pending.
However, despite the unrest OUYA remain adamant that people should put aside all these doubts and get behind what they believe is a great idea. CEO Julie Uhrman attempted to win non-believers over
Recently, the intention behind our Free the Games Fund seems to have been lost,…..This response surprised us — we thought this was going to be great — how could it not be?
In launching this campaign, we’ve been called everything from naive and foolish to crazy and idealistic. This is not the first time we’ve been called any of that. Maybe we’re naive … and YES we’re definitely idealistic. It’s gotten us this far.
If we can put aside the doubt and embrace the spirit of this fund as it is meant, and of OUYA as it is meant, we might just be surprised by what a little positivity can produce.”
With poor sales and a bad reputation one has to wonder how long the OUYA has left?
If you are uncertain here’s OUYA’s controversial advert that kicked up a fuss amongst the games industry