In a rather scathing piece in Kotaku yesterday, Owen Good takes issue with Ouya’s #FreeTheGames fund, which has certainly resulted in some unintended consequences for the fledgeling indie console. In examining campaigns for Elementary, My Dear Holmes and Gridiron Thunder, Good wonders how Ouya still has any affinity among gamers.
Once again, it’s the usual shitshow of unintended consequences arising from Ouya’s näive, idealistic posturing: Let’s make a console that’s completely open-sourced! OK, what if people use it primarily for piracy and emulation, and no one buys anything from the Ouya store? Well, let’s underwrite a bunch of We-the-People exclusives no one else is courageous enough to make! Fine, how do you safeguard against a developer who “funds” a game with phantom donations, to get Ouya to supply the actual development budget with the matching money?
At this point, why anyone would still “back” — as if that money is actually an investment, instead of a straight-up donation — this amateur-hour console or any of its games is a mystery to me.
Gridiron Thunder was fully-funded on Kickstarter after being criticized for what some deemed as shady backer activity. Elementary, My Dear Holmes was also fully funded, but funding was suspended by Kickstarter before the campaign ended.
Ouya has certainly had a rough go when it comes to PR and their #FreeTheGames fund. These two campaigns are the only two campaigns that have been able to cross the $50,000 funding threshold necessary in order to be eligible for matching funds from Ouya, and both generated some negative buzz.