Ouya has gone through some interesting changes since the concept was announced, then having an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $8.5 million with promises of a new console every year, and then every other year with the latest hardware, and then changing business models completely and making their marketplace available on Android devices other than the Ouya console itself. The newest change is a rather interesting one, Ouya as a company has been put up for sale.
This information has come to light thanks to an apparent leaked memo which states that it is putting itself up for sale. Since this is based off of a leak, we do need to take this with a grain of salt since there has been no official announcement of this happening… yet. This memo was sent out by Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman to investors and advisers, stating that “the company had failed to satisfy one of its investors’ conditions and that renegotiation over the debt had been unsuccessful“.
According to the memo, Ouya would need to find a buyer in order to make up for the shortfall the company has seen and that this would need to happen quickly, by the end of this month. “We are looking for expressions of interest by the end of this month“.
Ouya has been trying plenty of new ways to generate sale of its console and titles on its marketplace, none of which have gone over really well. The first problem we see is that there is no reason to buy the console anymore, especially with the Ouya marketplace being made available on other devices, albeit not many of them. Ouya should have stuck with their plan of releasing updated version of their console with new hardware. The company also tried to offer incentives for exclusive game releases to developers but that quickly had problems of its own, with some developers being accused of abusing that system. Other developers released their games on other platforms after they were on Ouya, making the exclusivity less valuable.
Interestingly enough, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman writes that “we have the largest library of Android content for the TV (still more than Amazon)”, that being over 1,000 apps and games. Depending on how you read into that statement, it is either true or wrong, since Fire TV from Amazon apparently has 1,472 apps and games.
The fact Ouya is apparently going on sale is a bit surprising. The company has had money shoved into its pockets over and over again. $8.5 million from Kickstarter, partnerships with different companies to bring their marketplace to other devices and set-top boxes, and more recently another $10 million from Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba for integrating the Ouya marketplace into their own set-top box. Their test run for a monthly subscription for an “all-you-can-eat” plan sold out at first as well.
How much Ouya will be bought for, if at all, in such a short period of time will be interesting to see. Especially with the Nvidia Shield Console and the OBox releases on the horizon. However, we would be more than happy to take it off their hands as we can think of plenty of ways to improve the service.
Website Referenced: The Verge