Ouya Changes The Terms Of Its Free The Games Fund

by Kyle Hilliard on Sep 18, 2013 at 02:44 PM

Ouya's Julie Uhrman delivered a message earlier today on the console's official blog detailing some changes coming to the Free the Games Fund, which offers additional funding to Kickstarter games in exchange for temporary Ouya exclusivity. Uhrman also posted a video, which you can see below, where she admitted that, "the program isn't working," and they are thankful for all the feedback.

Initially, the Free the Games Fund would match funds for games that reached a minimum goal of $50,000. That number has been lowered to $10,000. Ouya will now match funding to a project's goal, as opposed to how much the game raises. For every $10,000 matched, that's how many months a game must be an Ouya exclusive, up to six months. Developers are also allowed to release their games on PC as well, making them technically not entirely exclusive, but exclusive to television-based consoles.

Ouya has also eliminated the bonus, which offered $100,000 dollars to the Kickstarter able to acquire the most funds.

Perhaps the most obvious change to stem from the program's controversy, comes from the new requirement of a minimum of 100 backers. One of the most controversial aspects of the Free the Games Fund was the ease in which developers could fund themselves. It's pretty easy to throw money at a project if there is insurance that you will get it back in a matter of months. One such Kickstarter game, Gridiron Thunder, was suspecting of doing this. Alongside Ouya's announcement of changes coming to the program, Gridiron Thunder developer MogoTXT announced that it was backing out of the Free the Games fund, as it had already acquired enough funding to complete the game without the need for additional outside help.

There are more stipulations to the fund, which you can find out about on the Free the Games Fund website.

[Source: Ouya]


Our Take
Ouya and Julie Uhrman's hearts are definitely in the right place with the Free the Games Fund. In concept it's a great idea, but as we've seen, in practice it has some wrinkles. These changes are helpful, and also open up the pool of money to more developers, which means more games, which is a good thing.