Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

OUYA Is For Sale

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 29, 2015

OuyaBrownThis does not bode well for the first “microconsole” : Gaming startup OUYA needs to find a buyer quickly

This will come as a surprise to almost nobody. The crowdfunding campaign was stellar, the concept sounded awesome, the excitement was trend-setting, the actual hardware was… well, problematic and less than amazing, but still cool. I still enjoy my system and we have a blast playing a few games on it.

And of course, I like rooting for the underdog. I’m still an indie evangelist at heart, and the idea of a reasonably powerful console (comparable to the PS2 and Dreamcast)  in everyone’s price range with no major barriers to entry sounded fantastic.

But it felt like nobody outside of the initial kickstarter campaign had heard of it, and it didn’t sell that many systems outside of the original backer release. This meant that the store, which was supposed to be the backbone of their profit, never really took off. When the best-selling title on the platform only generates 7,000 sales, you’ve got problems, and you aren’t going to get any console-selling exclusives.

Recently, OUYA has been working to make the game service available to a couple other gaming platforms. Makes sense. I was kinda looking forward to an OUYA 2 with more powerful hardware. And I suppose that could still happen, depending upon the buyer. I still want to keep the dream alive, but I’m not sure how I’d make a good business case for it.

Filed Under: Biz, Indie Evangelism - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Felix said,

    Gods, people… when I used to point out that open source gaming consoles are nothing new, and that every single one has been a commercial failure, everybody insisted that I was being pessimistic. That one of them had to be the first to succeed. Sure. Maybe next time. Or next century.

    Look, I’m a geek. I’d LOVE to see such a device succeeding. But the truth is, only a geek can love this sort of machine. And until geeks become a sizable percentage of the population, devices like the Ouya can only be niche products. Treat them as such or go bankrupt.

    Dreaming is nice, but realism keeps you alive so that you *can* dream.

  • Lavender Moon said,

    Honestly, I feel like the Raspberry Pi is a lot better platform for an indie to make a game. You have complete control of the platform, and don’t have to deal with the limitations of Android (mainly that you’d have to pay $300 to Xamarin to port over a MonoGame project, vs the $0 it costs to get it working on Linux). Raspberry Pi 2 supporting Windows 10 will make it even easier for causal Windows devs to get on board with the Raspberry Pi, and honestly, it might replace my sister’s terrible computer while still being more capable, considering most of the games she plays were made in XNA and FNA could be slotted in instead, assuming compatibility is good enough for those specific games at this point (and FNA is being actively worked on).

  • Namco said,

    The Ouya is a nice and affordable device but there was a problem with discoverability that wasn’t resolved until about a year ago. It was something to do with the criteria for getting from the sandbox to actually released. I also wasn’t sure about their strategy of Ouya Everywhere which seemed a bit like spreading their business too thinly, especially when they didn’t have the brand power to do such a feat.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I think if the Raspberry Pi folks were to release a “gaming” version with a better GPU (which would probably increase its price by at least 25%, so I dunno if that’d be much of a win), you could make a pretty decent gaming rig (at least as powerful as the OUYA). Problem being: It’s still a hobbyist device and not a mass-market end-customer system, so… would it fly? Dunno.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, maybe with the new owner they’ll become more of the “Side-Loading Alternative Store” for Android gaming systems with controllers. Or something. But they’d pretty much have to give up on their hardware business. And since the money is and has always been in the store, not the hardware, I’m not sure how well that’ll fly.