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73 percent of Ouya owners haven't bought a thing
73 percent of Ouya owners haven't bought a thing
July 26, 2013 | By Kris Ligman




In an interview with The Verge yesterday, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman reported that only 27 percent of Ouya console owners have bought games for the system. The rest have stuck with free (or pirated) titles.

"Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected," Uhrman assured The Verge. "It takes time to build what traditional consoles have had decades to build."

The topselling title on Ouya is presently Matt Thorson's TowerFall, which has brought in approximately $21,000 to date, after Ouya's 30 percent cut. The console's other leading title, Adam Spragg's Hidden in Plain Sight, has brought in a mere $4,381.

"To say developers can't make money on Ouya -- I take offense to that," says Uhrman. "I'm sure the creators of TowerFall and Hidden in Plain Sight would take offense to that. The console has only been out for a month, and developers have only had access to the hardware for about six months."

Uhrman contends that for a free-to-play console, 27 percent of users purchasing content -- at an attach rate of 8 percent for the majority of top-grossing titles -- is actually quite healthy. "I think there are a lot of social and mobile app developers that would kill for an 8 percent attach rate on a platform that's only 30 days old," she argues. "These numbers will grow as more gamers pick up consoles."

"I believe that by the end of the year, we'll see a few developers telling us theyv'e made more than a million dollars on Ouya."

Ouya recently launched a new campaign to match Kickstarter funds for developers who agree to a 6-month exclusivity deal with the console, but as our own Mike Rose observed, it doesn't appear to be a great deal for devs.


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Comments


Kevin Clough
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The CEO should never have disclosed this stat because it just gives ammo to those who are critical of Ouya. I think she might need a PR person to help her put a better spin on things.

Sean Monica
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That's legit. I was curious about Ouya until now I know you can just pirate the software and games. She should probably not make guesses and statements without backing anymore. I wish them the best though.

Maria Jayne
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Interesting negativity in the title there, CEO says 27% have, author writes 73% haven't.

Aaron San Filippo
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Good journalism doesn't just print PR spin as-is.
27% uptake is terrible news.

Amir Barak
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What's the uptake of games on iOS and Android in general?

James Coote
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It's interesting to see how this story has evolved. Started with most OUYA devs being cautiously upbeat about their experiences (including their sales numbers):

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/196691/the_ouya_experience_
what_game_.php

Ends with unremittingly negative headlines

Diego Leao
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I've seen this news in other websites and it troubled me that none talked about the 73% who haven't bought. That is the key difference between iOS and Android, for example: iOS users buy more, and therefore make more money with smaller hardware numbers. That is still not the case with Ouya.

But if you are an Android developer, porting something to Ouya is incredibly simple. I, for instance, will support the console "by principle", just because it is so easy and because we (developers) do need an open console. For me, supporting it with content is the real "kickstart" :)

Kujel s
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What are you planing on releasing on it, I'll check it out at least.

Merc Hoffner
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@ Aaron

Try out http://www.the-magicbox.com/ It's an older barebones news site that's pretty Japanese focused, but what's absolutely incredible is that it's so utterly free of opinion, chatter, or even headlines - just a collection of statements of facts. It's utterly transformative when the news stops all expression and simply becomes a source of up-to-date information - everything becomes immediately calm and the reader is left to draw their own conclusions, in uncoloured isolation. The user also absorbs more information - without opinionation each statement takes a few lines so you get through info more quickly.

I think it could be a great model for good journalism if it was all about information gathering and not about interpretation. Obviously selective editing would still be a problem, but if all news sources operated like this the world would probably be a happier and more informed place. But humans are argumentative social animals, and headlines sell.

Adam Bishop
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There is no such thing as objective news, only news that is more or less open about how the ideas of its authors influences the coverage.

Merc Hoffner
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Surely we don't think the typical reader is too dumb to realize 27% is a small number?

The audience that's interested in knowing the state of affairs is smart enough to read through one line of spin. Spin isn't appreciated, and neither is counter spin, but we'll tolerate it until the world changes (never then). We probably don't need a discussion as to the merit of interpretation and hand holding - it's doubly redundant.

Kujel s
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I'm one of those 23% and I'm damn proud of it :p On a more serious note I agree with both Kevin and Maria.

E Zachary Knight
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Towerfall has sold over 2000 copies. The $21,000 you have listed is after Ouya's 30% cut.

http://www.edge-online.com/news/are-indies-making-any-money-from-
ouya/

TowerFall, the Ouya exclusive that’s become the console’s flagship launch game, has performed better than expected, says its developer Matt Thorson. “We’ve made about 2000 sales so far at $15 each,” he told us. “So sales have been surprisingly high for a new game on a new console. The game has definitely proven itself on Ouya, I think there’s enough demand to warrant bringing it to PC.

Kris Ligman
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Thanks for the correction!

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

E Zachary Knight
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It might also be a statement on the number of emulators available for the Ouya.

Marvin Papin
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OUYA's promotional campaign was "Hey come our games are free to play". Nobody should have except much more better numbers.

PS : if you're speaking french, the top (most used) french video game site jeuxvideo.com had done a "live" to show the OUYA and advise people. They pull it down, due to the quality of games, the OS, the clarity of payment...

Jonathan Murphy
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Our industry is paved in consoles that have failed. But those failures have given us some great gems. Like D, Bonk's Adventure, Resident Evil Veronica. Besides we all know, The Amazing Frog is the best game ever made! Game of the year for me.

Damien Ivan
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Oh man, the DSPGaming video on YouTube about The Amazing Frog is hilarious.

Joaquin Bello
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Had my ouya for 3 days now, not a single buy. For a console with a credit card requirement its hard to think why people are not spending money. My personal reasons, I fell most of the games are ok, but I dont feel the need to buy them after playing the demo. Its hard to create a good demo, especially for small games.

Kujel s
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I recommened you try Ittle Dew (expensive but worth it), Polarity, The Bard's Tale, League of Evil. All of these I bought except Polarity but that ws just cause I ran out of funds.

Joaquin Bello
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Ittle Dew is THE game of the console, really good quality, I'm going to buy it in the future. I still think its a grate console, port some of my flash(air+starling) game test and they work like charm (60 fps) with really small changes. Its cool to test the game and know that everybody its going to experience the same game.

Machine Works
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Ouya should leave it to the developers to provide a demo or not. End of Story.

Wouldn't that attitude compliment their "openness" approach?

Right now, they are basically reviving the outdated featurephone n**i style carrier attitude of "must have demo mode" to be on our store front. While I applaud them in their hardware efforts, they seem to be experiencing a much steeper learning curve in the publishing department. We have been in the exact
same position with another gizmo that cratered because of "hardware/compatibility first" approach.
Spending one million on publishing when you raised 23 Mill isn't a good balance.

Andreas, Machineworks

Kujel s
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Free to try is an awesome idea as player don't get burned that way like when there are no demos at all and if you can't come up with fun gameplay maybe you shouldn't be developing games.

Lex Allen
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It's way too early to write the platform off. Most of us are still in the process of porting our games.

Luke Quinn
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I'm quite convinced that the OUYA has a place in an emerging market, it's still early in the game and they haven't even tried releasing it in all the world's markets yet, and the Master System can attest to how profitable certain easily neglected regions can be for low cost easy access gaming.
I personally haven't gotten into using it much yet (I still intend to) because of a bad taste left from the backer order cock-up.
The main reason I wanted the console is to play games with my son, but my order was missing a controller and I haven't gotten a response to my complaint emails, so I kinda lost interest; I wonder how many of the people not buying are of a similar disposition after OUYA's bungled launch.

Kujel s
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It's good to see someone is still optimistic even after a hick up. I didn't really have any major issue with my order other then UPS adding a brokerage fee to mine before I could actually take posession of it but that wasn't a big deal.

James Coote
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Probably a non-insignificant proportion going by anecdotal evidence are in the same thinking as you

There are lots of other reasons as well why people might have an OUYA sitting in some cupboard getting dusty

- There was (still is?) a problem where if you download lots of games in one session, it causes huge amounts of controller lag. While a simple reset solves this, the first thing most people do is download a whole bunch of games, fire a couple up and get terrible input lag. That kind of first impression will make them more likely to put it straight back in the box and/or not bother with it

- While the OUYA is constantly improving and evolving, consumers expect a fully finished product. They assume that what they take out of the box the first time they use it, "that's it"

- The games that make the OUYA really shine are (IMO) the local multiplayer games. Most people will play the OUYA for the first time on their own, so not realise that (Again, anecdotally, I hear stories of OUYAs sitting on shelves getting dusty till one day, the owner's friend comes round and asks to play it. Upon which they have a great time

- The games people have already heard of (FF3, Sonic, Shadowgun etc) tend to get pushed to the front of the store because people download and play the familiar. New OUYA owners fire up the store to see a bunch of stuff they can already play on their mobiles/tablets and assume the rest of the store is like that, don't explore further and so put the OUYA to one side

I think people are over-egging the impact of emulators in these stats. Most of the emulators actually have IAP in some form (e.g. buying cheat codes, or "slow motion" time to make it easier to get past the hard parts of games that require quick thinking/reactions)

Andrew Syfret
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It's been out a month, it doesn't have the marketing budgets of SONY or MS behind it. This is really not something to be surprised about. The OUYA is gonna grow slowly. I'd give it at least 6 months before declaring it a failure.

tony oakden
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I think the problem is not the 27% attach rate or that the top selling title has only made $20K, it's the fact that CEO let slip that the next most successful title has only made $4K. That sounds to me like a pretty awful omen for the average developer who doesn't reach the top of the charts. Of course one should not extrapolate from a sample space of 2 :) but if one does then by the time you get to the 100th or 101 selling title you are down to figures which just don't make any commercial sense for anyone. Which is unfortunately where we are at with the rest of the Android market. I guess I am hoping this will be a bit different. Anyway time will tell.

Nicholas Stringham
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People have to keep in mind that many developers are still working on the games to put on the Ouya. For so many years consoles themselves have put out titles that didn't do so well in the beginning [for example XBOX360 first launched titles], but look at the games now. I'm not saying that certain titles on Ouya don't do well, I am saying to begin a product that has done so well doesn't mean that it will crash because people right now are not buying games. Some titles have been created to pull people to the console. The only reason why I even spent money on the XBOX360 3xs is the fact that Gears of War continued to launch another title. If it wasn't for gears, I would have never considered buying a XBOX360.Their is still hope and honestly I am not giving up on Ouya just yet after having two WIP titles for Ouya. It has just started, and yet their has been some hickups along the way, but this happens, nothing is perfect. I feel a little more marketing would help Ouya out, instead of just running another kickstarter campaign, they might consider running some adds else where. Honestly, if I didn't even look on Gamasutra or keep up with some developing news I would never have heard of Ouya until I came acrossed it in the store. Maybe a television add or two or radio etc. They have earned enough money to do a little more marketing, but the issue is people are not buying games. The truth is money for alot of people is tight right now and they can't even afford even an app that might cost $4.99. Yet granted, that is not alot of money these days, but if I only had five dollars expect that money is going to baby wipes instead of a new app on any console.

Danilo Buendia
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If you already develop for Android, making a version for OUYA is a smart move for Indies: peroid It doesn't take much to adjust your game to offer it on OUYA. Its an additional skew to sell on


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