Report: Ouya Looking To Sell Quickly To Pay Off Mounting Debt
According to an email allegedly sent by Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman this month, the company responsible for the eponymous microconsole needs to find a buyer quickly. Ouya originally raised $8.6 million via Kickstarter within July and August 2012.
Today’s news comes via a report from Fortune, which says it has obtained a copy of a confidential email sent to investors.
The company later received funding from a variety of venture capital sources and, most recently, received $10 million from Chinese set-top box provider Alibaba. Even after a move into a service architecture called Ouya Everywhere that brought the company’s games to the Madcatz Mojo Android handheld, players didn’t warm up.
Just a month after that announcement, we learned that the best selling game on the platform had only moved 7,000 copies. This follows a report in mid-2013 that stated that users were only upgrading from trials to full, paid games at a rate of 8 percent.
Ouya also misstepped with a development incentive program that offered little monetary reward and demanded onerous exclusivity periods. The "Free the Games Fund" was also criticized for potentially incentivizing cheating of the Kickstarter system by offering a $100,000 bounty for the program that raised the most funding.
We’ve reached out to Ouya for comment on its financial position and clarification of the details revealed in the Fortune report. We’ll update should we receive a response.
Update: An Ouya representative responded to our inquiry. The company has no comment at this time.
While the demise of Ouya would not be a surprise, the company finding a willing buyer might be (at least at the level Ouya hopes). The company has a series of failures to its name, with a consumer base disinclined to spend and smart developers steering clear. Perhaps there is some value in the technology that a larger company could put to good use, but the platform and connected distribution service have been deemed worthless by the end-user market.