Yesterday we reported on the fact that Ouya basically owes a decent amount of developers a fair amount of money from their Free The Games fund. Because of the deal that went through with Ouya being bought out by Razer, a lot of those developers who qualified for that million dollar fund would not be getting their money. Well that was the case but now things have changed thanks to Razer stepping up to the plate, offering developers a new deal.
Razer will apparently be making good on up to $600K in funds still potentially owed to developers who qualified for the Free The Games fund. For those of you not familiar with what that fund is, basically a couple of years back Ouya started a fund to help bring developers and their games over to their micro-console. The requirement was that developers had to run a Kickstarter campaign for an amount between $50,000 and $250,000 for a game they are developing and one of the platforms would be Ouya. Developers also had to agree to a short exclusive period at launch, so their new game would only be available on the Ouya marketplace for the first couple of weeks when the game launches.
If a developer managed to meet all the qualifications, which includes their Kickstarter campaign being successfully funded, then Ouya would match the amount the Kickstarter campaign target was for. So if a developer did a successful $50,000 Kickstarter campaign, Ouya would give them an additional $50,000. Unfortunately, due to a clause in the agreement developers signed for this fund, the buyout of Ouya means there is no money coming from Ouya now to those developers who qualified for the Free The Games fund.
Right now there is somewhere in the range of $600,000 still owed to developers. Only a quarter of the developers who qualified received all their money. Another quarter received at least a part of the money from Ouya. That means roughly half of the qualifying developers got nothing. There were 27 developers in total who qualified.
While currently traveling to the ChinaJoy game show, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan heard about the issue with the Free The Games fund and the owed money, and he had no idea there was any outstanding debt between Ouya and the developers because of the fund. Keep in mind Razer is under no obligation to help anyone with the money owed by Ouya.
We only acquired the team, the platform and the assets of Ouya. We didn’t look at the debts because that’s not how the deal was structured for us. – Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan
After toiling over the whole situation regarding the Free The Games fund, Tan came up with a plan at 3am his time, which is 3pm EST. Why mention this? Well it is impressive that the Razer CEO took to the problem at hand right away, instead of putting it aside till the next day. It’s not something you hear about often.
Since Forge TV has nothing to do with game exclusivity, where as the Ouya Free The Games fund did deal with that, just swapping the plan over wouldn’t work. The new plan is to have those developers sign a new contact with Razer but taking out the exclusivity part of the agreement Ouya had in place. So when a developer’s game is ready for launch, there won’t be any exclusive period on Forge TV. The money given to developers will be used, once the game is published, to give away copies of the game to people on Razer’s Cortex storefront.
As Tan explains, this means that if a developer received $10,000 from the fund and plan to sell their game for $10, the developer would need to give away 1,000 copies of their game on Razer’s Cortex store. However, this doesn’t prevent the developer from selling their game on other platforms immediately. The rest of the original Ouya agreement will remain the same, which is basically developers receiving some of their funding money when certain milestones are hit.
Razer will be emailing the affected developers of the Free The Games fund as soon as possible to inform them of this optional agreement. Tan also said that developers can email Razer directly as well. If a developer signs the agreement, their games will be published on Cortex if that storefront is ready. If not, then it will be published on the Ouya marketplace in the meantime.
Tan also mentioned that even though this was a quick plan put together to help those developers out, Razer has much bigger plans for Android TV in the near future. Needless to say we are intrigued.
For ourselves at Razer, we’ve always done stuff for our fans. This is purely being done out of goodwill. I think this is going to be great for the developers. I think they’re going to be able to get the games done and gamers will get access to games for free. Then those games will spread through word of mouth. We’re falling back to our basic principles, that Razer is for gamers, by gamers. When we heard of the plight of some of the indie devs we wanted to make sure we were in a position to help them. – Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan
Website Referenced: Polygon