[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he Ouya Kickstarter is one which long-time crowdfunding fans may never be able to forget. Back in 2012, Julie Uhrman and company made a pitch which many gamers just couldn’t ignore. They were an indie studio creating their own video game console which cost $100. Sure, it would be an Android device, but people were tremendously excited at the prospect of having a brand new console (of any sort) for such a cheap price. Of course, the saga of Ouya went all over the place, and by now it is no longer for sale officially and most developers have given up targeting the platform.
In the latest Ouya news, we’ve now learned that Razer has acquired Ouya. This is the newest information related to the company attempting to recoup costs and pay back loans related to the system’s creation. For a quick reminder, back in February Ouya partnered with Chinese company Alibaba in order to bring the system’s library as a set top TV box. After all, video game consoles were banned in China until very recently, so this was a deal full of potential. In April, rumors spread that CEO Julie Uhrman was looking to sell the company and today we finally see this was true.
Razer put out their own press release about the acquisition which can be read here. They now own the software assets, which includes its “content catalog and online retail platform.” Much of the team from Ouya has also been relocated into positions with Razer, which is fantastic news. But what happens to existing Ouya console owners? Razer has a plan for that too. They will provide owners with a path to migrate (games, accounts, controllers) over to the Cortex TV environment in their Forge TV micro console. With that said, it appears the Forge itself won’t be provided for free, though the company is promising “deep product discounts for incoming Ouya users to purchase Razer hardware.”
The Forge TV itself is Razer’s Android-based micro console which also costs $100 (or $150 with a controller). Since they already have a device available, they have confirmed they have no intent to focus on the hardware portion of Ouya. Their goal is simply to utilize the hefty library of indie games by adding it to their own existing offerings. They will even retain the “Ouya” branding in the digital storefront to pay homage to their history. What does Julie Uhrman have to say about all this? Here’s her official comment on the acquisition:
Razer is the perfect home for OUYA and the team that made it all happen. They can take the OUYA platform to new places, inspiring developers and embracing gamers, everywhere.
Based off her recent Twitter posts, it appears she will continue to work on new projects — perhaps we’ll even see that next venture on Kickstarter. It reamains to be seen if the gaming audience would support another slick Ouya-like pitch, though. The Ouya has ventured on a long, strange road but now that it’s (basically) over, we’d like to know your thoughts. Were you one of the 63,000 backers? Was the Ouya everything it was promised to be or did people in fact expect too much from the device?