Kickstarter gaming phenomenon Ouya?s run finally comes to an end, a mere two years after it was launched, now that it is being acquired by video game hardware company Razer. All of Ouya?s software products and employees will be taken on by Razer, which will incorporate them into its Forge TV project, effectively making it a publishing service for the Android console from Razer. The Ouya store will undergo a major rebranding exercise and it will be known as Cortex for Android TV, according to Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer.
Ouya?s hardware division will not get a new life with Razer since it is very clearly to be left out in the cold. This very likely means that Ouya?s Android gaming console will go the way of many other consoles that haven?t been able to survive in a highly competitive market.
The deal between Ouya and Razer will benefit both companies. Ouya doesn?t really have many long term prospects although the company has had a major role in popularising Android games, thanks to the wide range of games it was associated with. The company has worked to develop triple A games as well as indie titles, and both types have met with a great deal of success.
Razer will definitely benefit from having a well-established publishing platform as well as a large number of games. Razer is setting its sights on the Android TV market and it plans to be in place to meet the expected demand for Android-based TV consoles. The purchase of Ouya will help Razer offer a wide range of content and not only games for Android TV.
The Chinese government has lifted its ban on the sale of video game consoles and the market is ripe for companies that have the right products and services in place. Furthermore, the Chinese customer is famously price sensitive. Forge will actually be able to gain a foothold in this market since its product will be priced much lower than video game consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
Razer?s purchase of Ouya will definitely cause a lot of disappointment to the owners of the Ouya console. Thankfully, Razer has plans to help them migrate their accounts as well as existing Android games to its Cortex service so that they can move from the Ouya console to Forge. Razer will also sweeten the deal for Ouya customers by offering them a discount on hardware from Forge.
The people who are going to be absolutely unhappy with this acquisition are the indie developers who have been working on games for Ouya, particularly the ones who were part of ?Ouya?s Free The Games Fund?, an initiative designed to encourage indie developers by offering to match crowdfunded money for some projects. Many of these developers have been left in the lurch by Ouya since they state that they are owed money to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. The latest news on this subject, however, is that Razer will honour all debts incurred by Ouya.