Indie devs Screwed as Ouya withdraws promised $1 million fund

Update: Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan tells Polygon that the company will honor all payments due to developers as part of the Free the Games Fund. That’s more than $600,000 total, the site reports. Tan said he didn’t realize that OUYA had outstanding debts to developers.

Remember that Ouya console hype years ago? Well Razer just acquired Ouya in an all-cash deal. Ouya was meant to be a small console that can play small games and indie games, but honestly it was just a piece of hyped up junk. Well the company just screwed over its indie developers who believed into the Ouya hype with its $1 Million fund for indie games.

To cut the crap because honestly no one cares, we decided to make this super short. Ouya begins a promotion in 2013 called “Free the games fund” which promised Kickstarted developers a chunk of money if they agreed to launch on Ouya and met a number of requirements for timing and size.

“I am proud to announce OUYA’s Free the Games Fund, a first-of-its-kind program to support Kickstarter games built for OUYA, with $1 million in matching funds,” the announcement stated. “More than 21,000 registered OUYA game developers, plus tens of thousands of other game creators, could have access to matching funds – from $50,000 up to $250,000 – for OUYA-bound games launched on Kickstarter.”

The promotion was a flop, which they tried to improve by adjusting the rules.

“We hear you loud and clear that the program isn’t working,” then Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said at the time. “Regardless of my best intentions, there’s just too many loopholes.”

After the rules changed the program becomes a success, but developers are now saying that Ouya is refusing to pay out the money owed, due to a clause in the contract that includes bankruptcy and restructuring. Which in their contracts states that if they are in bankruptcy either party and terminate the agreement.

Razer has now purchased the company but this does not mean that devs will expect their money. A developer spoke out saying OUYA no longer exists as a company to get out of funding commitments, while continuing to use the name in the announcements today as if they still are a company that exists.

So not only did the devs get screwed, but some devs still have to pay of people that worked on the game such as musicians that they no longer can pay.


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