Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Little Cube Goes Into Retirement

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 28, 2015

OuyaBrownNot a big surprise, but…

As previously deduced, Razer has purchased Ouya. But it sounds like they only purchased the software assets and the service, not the (somewhat disappointing) hardware. Razer has promised to support legacy systems for at least a full year, and then offer Ouya owners a deal on their own hardware.

Ah, well. Ouya was due for a hardware upgrade anyway.

My fondness for the system was as an underdog. I’d hoped for a little more performance out of the cube. And controllers that didn’t seem to keep cutting out and going wonky on me, although it seemed like it was only one of them that kept having problems. For the most part, it was playable.

This announcement is mostly good news overall for the devs, because the Ouya store was beginning to feel more and more like a dead end. Now the service will (hopefully) hit a much larger audience in the near future. And new, more powerful hardware.

However, that silver lining comes with a pretty dark raincloud for a few developers. Developers on the “free the games” fund have had their contracts canceled, which sucks. While $5,000 or $10,000 may not sound like much, when you’re a tiny developer that has invested that much on the contractual obligation that you’d be receiving payments on the back-end that would help you recoup those expenses, that can leave you in a bad place.

TowerfallSo I’m gonna call this a good news / bad news situation. It’s too bad the exciting beginning of the “microconsole” era wasn’t followed up with a success story at this point. We’ll see how things go with Razer. It may simply be that the Ouya was ahead of its time, and gets a second chance in spirit and possibly in name (for a while). Or it could be that three or four years from now we’ve got an acquisition of Razer in the works, and the story repeats itself. For now, I’ll call it the closing of a chapter, but not the end of the book.

While the nirvana of awesome games never quite arrived, I’ve got a lot of Ouya games that I really enjoy, so it’ll be right up there with the rest of my “outdated” consoles I still play games on. Hopefully I shouldn’t have any problems keeping the games I already have on the system, although I may want to make sure they are all downloaded and archived within the next 12 months…

UPDATE: Razer has announced a deal to try and make good on Ouya’s financial commitments to developers under the “Free the Games” program. It’s a different deal, as they don’t want exclusivity at all, and instead involves giving away a number of free copies of the games. But it works as a marketing tool and fixes things with developers, and demonstrates Razer’s commitment to indies. Stand-up job by Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan.

Polygon: Razer says it will pay what Ouya owes to Indie Devs

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