Remember the Ouya? The Android-based “TV-box” that promised to bring a new kind of gaming experiance to your living room? The one with the name no one could pronounce, that made close to $9 million (R110 million) in a Kickstarter campaign, but then fizzled out and did so much nothing?
The Ouya story will be one that parents will tell their children if they want them to become accountants rather than tech pioneers, and it looks like it’s coming to a close. Gaming peripheral company Razer has bought the companies software and will incorporate it into their own.
For the Ouya team, that means their jobs are safe as they will now be working for Razer’s software team.
If you’re an Ouya user it’s decidedly worse. Razer did not purchase the rights to any of Ouya’s hardware, but without any software to run it we can’t imagine it will be around any longer. Instead, Razer wants to move you to its Forge TV platform. a similar product to the Ouya that is doing some interesting things – like being able to use a mouse and keyboard. In addition, Ouya’s online store will be relaunced as part of “Cortex TV for Android”, the store where the Forge TV will be getting its software. Razer does plan to make this a little cheaper for you, though.
From the press release:
Razer will be providing existing OUYA users with a clear path of migration to the more advanced Forge TV micro-console and Serval controller bundle. Razer’s intention is to allow OUYA users to bring their games, controllers, and accounts to the Cortex TV platform on the Forge micro-console, advancing the experience of Android gaming on TV that they have previously enjoyed. Additionally, Razer is planning deep product discounts for incoming OUYA users to purchase Razer hardware, and a spate of freebies, giveaways, and promotions to enjoy on their new Forge consoles.
Even worse off are the developers of games and other software on the platform. Motherboard reported that developers are still waiting to be paid between $5 000 and $30 000 (R63 000 and R380 000). While a Razer spokesperson has come forward to help these developers continue to see their products on their platform, but they don’t intend to make good on other payments, including those of the “Free the Games Fund” Ouya created to help fund fledgling games.
Again we’ll have to tread new water as this develops. The Ouya, being based on the open Android platform, created with crowdfunding, sits in a delicate space where no one seems to have a firm grasp on “who owes who”.