OUYA: Flipping The Console Publishing Model

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman speaks on a shifting console landscape and where Ouya fits in

Ouya isn't called "the people's console" for nothing! The Android mini console first earned its name by catering to indie game developers. It also helps that the super low price of $99 makes the deal a lot sweeter. Thanks to the Ouya, Indie devs can bring their title straight to you without having to go through the usual roadblocks when they try and go through the traditional publishing route.

Ouya's Kickstarter campaign is stuff of legend and lore, raising over $8.6 million in the course of its run. Granted reviews for the Ouya have been less than 5 star, and drama aside, the console still has a decent community of games devs still willing to back it up.

As part of the Firesade Chats hosted today at GamesBeat, Julie Uhrman, Ouya CEO stated her belief that it is inevitable that major publishers will begin making games for the Ouya console.

That said, Uhrman was quick to clarify that this does not mean that she’s expecting the next Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty to be arriving on the Ouya anytime soon, simply stating that "publishers are always late to the newest business models."

Uhrman said she would be more than willing to offer a major title on the Ouya platform, but understands the reservations of other major publishers when it comes to bringing already established and successful franchises to the Ouya. When and if they decide to make games for the Ouya, Uhrman stated that she would be expecting something new. She believes that this would better suit the platform and its community.

 “When those publishers come to us, they’re going to bring the perfect game [for] our platform. It won’t be the same thing,”  Uhrman said.

What also sets the Ouya apart is its low barrier of entry, as long as game devs have some free to play element incorporated in their titles. Uhrman stands behind this ideology, and the crowdfunding that led to the development of the Ouya in the first place.

According to her it can prove to be a great resource for game developers as it allows them to get a feel for what gamers want. In comparison to the console model, this new publishing model allows feedback to be given directly to the game devs through every step of the way.   In that way Ouya has hit its stride and is quickly coming into its own.                

“You can put your idea out there and figure out if gamers want it...The benefit of a crowdfunding site is there is evidence: You have the backers and the dollars they spent.”

In order to make the Ouya further appealing to developers, they also started a Kickstarter project called “Free the Games” which was meant to allow indie devs to express their independence. Of course this is where most of the new initial beef came from in the first place as developers, claimed it was far to easy to cheat the systems and a whole lot of blame was thrown around. See a run down here.

All things considered, Ouya did change the fund rules, amended the program and seem to be well on their way to working things out for the better. Uhrman seemed hopeful that things were only going to go up from here.

Published Oct. 30th 2013

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