Most Ouya Owners Aren't Buying Games

by Matt Helgeson on Jul 25, 2013 at 04:10 PM

In a new interview, Ouya head Julie Uhrman revealed numbers that confirmed the reports that – so far – Ouya owners aren't inclined to pay for games.

In an interview with The Verge, Uhrman said that "Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected. It takes time to build what traditional consoles have had decades to build."

However, the sales numbers she provided seemed fairly bleak. According to Uhrman, only 27 percent of Ouya owners have paid for content, with most choosing to use the system for free-to-play games, demos, and illegal NES and SNES emulators.

The games that Uhrman cited as the system's most successful, TowerFall and Hidden in Plain Sight, have earned $21,000 and $4,381 respectively. This may have something to do with TowerFall creator Matt Thorson's recent announcement that he's bringing the game to PC.

Uhrman also talked of increased developer interest in the system. There are now over 21,000 registered Ouya developers. In addition, she said the systems rate of upgrade from free to paid version (8 percent) is actually very good in the free-to-play market.

Source: The Verge

Our Take
While Ms. Uhrman can spin the numbers any way she likes, the fact that your system's breakout game (TowerFall) has only earned $21,000 is bad news. Given that the game sells for $14.99, that is only around 1,400 paid downloads. Which, simply stated, is pretty pathetic for a game as good as TowerFall. Between PC, mobile platforms, and next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony that will be much more indie-friendly, small developers have a lot of options. If Ouya wants to succeed, it's going to have to convince the industry that it's a place where companies can make money.