Yesterday it was announced that Kickstarter darling Ouya, the developers of the Android based micro console had been purchased for cash by gaming accessory manufacturer Razer. Razer purchased Ouya’s software and development team though not their hardware, as Razer has their own micro-console, the Forge TV.
Shortly after this news broke it was uncovered that as many as 75% of the developers who developed games for the Ouya as part of the Free the Games fund had yet to be paid for their work. While it appears that much of the money was not paid because milestones were never hit, Razer’s CEO told Polygon that they had a plan to pay the developers that felt they were owed.
Under the initial rules of the fund, developers were asked to put an Ouya exclusive game on Kickstarter. If the game raised at least $10,000 Ouya would match the funds, doubling the developers money with a maximum possible of $250,000 from Ouya. Ouya put $1 million in the fund but over $600,000 has yet to be paid.
Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan’s plan is to trade the exclusivity for free games for their user base. Tan wants to see the unpaid developers sign new contracts with Razer. Under this deal the game would no longer be required to be an Ouya exclusive, but the developer would use the Ouya funds to finance free copies of their game to be given away via Razer’s Cortex storefront.
It’s an interesting deal. Removing the exclusivity will give the devs the possibility of selling their games elsewhere, and new revenue streams are always a plus. This may help balance the free games they’ll be moving through Razer. Razer, who does not feel obligated to help but is trying to build up goodwill with indie devs and Ouya users, certainly wins. We’ll have to wait and see who takes them up on the offer.