Want to buy an Ouya? Probably not. Though the Android-powered micro-console earned US$8.5 million in Kickstarter funding, interest in the device has dwindled to close to nothing. And I’m not in the least bit surprised; there hasn’t been a single Android microconsole that’s taken the market by storm – because what’s good for a phone, might not be the best thing for a set-top box. You may not want to buy a single Ouya, but you might perhaps be interested in buying the entire company. Okay, probably not.
But it is up for sale. According to some leaked e-mails, Ouya is in enough financial hot water that the company is going up for sale to try and pay some debt. That’s after the venture credit it acquired from Triple Point, and the more recent US$10 million cash injection it received from Chinese commerce giant Alibaba.
In a similar deal to the one they’ve inked with Chinese electronics company Xiaomi, Ouya’s library of games will be making their way to Alibaba TV’s and set-top boxes in the future – which may be the only way the company can stay afloat.
“Our focus now is trying to recover as much investor capital as possible,” Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman wrote in the email to investors. “We believe we’ve built something real and valuable. I continue to read the tweets and emails of our fans who play OUYA every day, and our catalog is now over 1,000 apps and 40,000 developers. We have the largest library of Android content for the TV (still more than Amazon) — hells ya!”
How much of a big deal is that library of apps and games? Not a lot. Apparently by mid-2013, 73% of Ouya owners hadn’t paid for a single game, opting instead for the free fare available. Where the Ouya does excel is in the realm of emulation – but that’s not going to make anybody any money, is it?
Last Updated: April 29, 2015