To most of us out there, $4,876,890 certainly seems like a lot of cash. Yet, it’s approximately the amount Ouya managed to raise on Kickstarter to develop its nascent game console.
However, Julie Uhrman isn’t stopping with Kickstarter, as the Ouya founder recently confirmed she will seek additional external investment to move the Android-based system forward.
“This is a really big undertaking and it’s going to be expensive. We’re looking for additional funds of money but more importantly we wanted to take it to Kickstarter regardless,” Uhrman told Develop.
“Because Kickstarter will give us the support we need from the gamers and developers to get additional content on the devices and bring additional partners to us. It is unbelievable validation where gamers really demonstrate their enthusiasm with for what we’re doing with dollars, and those numbers demonstrate that there is a market.”
As TG Daily previously reported, Ouya is an Android-powered game console with a tentative price tag of just $99. The device – which obviously appeals to both devs and modders – is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and features 8 GB of storage.
According to Uhrman, the console gaming market has faced a “brain drain” in recent years from both gamers and developers.
“They’re switching focus from TV to mobile platforms. Gamers find hardware and software still to be super expensive and developers feel that it is still complicated and expensive to bring games to the living room.
A lot more of the creative, exciting and innovative games are coming to the mobile platform and not the TV. We think that’s a shame, there is no better screen for playing games than the television,” she explained.
“We think that the core gamer is really going to like this. We think they’re going to find this as something cool. And there are going to be games on this platform that don’t make this to other consoles because at the end of the day they’re closed.”
Personally, I think the TV is still where most people want to play games. As such, the Ouya game console will likely live or die based on the availability of new video games and popular titles. If devs manage to code compelling Android games, the console will likely do well. If gamers have nothing to choose from other than existing (current-gen) Android apps, well, I think it’s fairly safe to say the Ouya will face an uphill battle.
Update: Ouya has issued a statement denying that it is seeking additional funds (*cough*):
“Let me be clear, Ouya is not seeking additional funding outside of Kickstarter. Our priority now is to continue to focus on building a great game console while engaging in our ongoing Kickstarter campaign. Our intent in going to Kickstarter was to raise money that would take us from functional prototype to product on the market.”
“With respect to our funding, we have been candid in disclosing an early round raised through friends and family that included backing from investors like Digg founder Jay Adelson, Flixster founder Joe Greenstein, and Jawbone founder Hosain Rahman. We do not intend to engage in any conversations related to funding while we are on Kickstarter.
“And, it’s not like we are going to start speed dialing VCs as soon as the Kickstarter campaign ends. Once our Kickstarter campaign closes funding our priority will be getting Ouya to market, and delivering the best game experience possible. Fundraising will not be top of the list. Unfortunately, I think this rumor sprung from a misunderstood answer during an interview and we are trying to contact the reporter to clarify.”