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Razer proposes solution to Ouya's 'Free The Games' debt

Razer proposes solution to Ouya's 'Free The Games' debt

July 28, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

"The Free the Games initiative was put forth by the original OUYA and that program was NOT part of the acquisition by Razer."

- A Razer representative responding to an inquiry from Polygon about money owed to developers participating in Ouya's Free the Games fund.

Update: In response to public outcry over this issue, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan phoned Polygon from China to say Razer is putting together an optional deal for affected developers to recoup the money they were owed by Ouya.

Under the terms of the theoretical deal, all Ouya exclusivity requirements are waived and developers will receive the payments they were owed, but will be required to give away a number of copies of their game on Razer's Cortex TV storefront equivalent to the money they receive.

In effect, Razer is offering to recoup the estimated $620,000 Ouya still owes some developers by pre-ordering copies of their games. The deal is not yet finalized, and Tan says he'll offer further details on the issue in an upcoming AMA.

Original Story: Razer and Ouya are under scrutiny today after Vice's Motherboard published an article claiming that Ouya is stiffing developers who participated in its "Free the Games" fund out of thousands of dollars.

According to Motherboard's sources, participating developers had recently signed a revised contract with Ouya that freed either party from any responsibility to pay if it "becomes insolvent, unable to pay its debts, or goes bankrupt" -- a clause that sources claim Ouya is invoking in the wake of its recent buyout by Razer.

Now a Razer representative has informed Polygon that since the (reportedly all-cash) deal was to acquire select assets and personnel from Ouya, and not the company as a whole, the company is disclaiming responsibility for making good on Ouya's outstanding debt.

"The Free the Games initiative was put forth by the original Ouya and that program was NOT part of the acquisition by Razer," the Razer representative told Polygon."The main asset acquired by Razer was the Android store while many of the other original Ouya assets such as the hardware and other programs were not part of the acquisition."

"That said, the 'new Ouya' —which is what Razer is calling its nascent Android publishing arm —will be working with developers to continue publishing and distributing their games. The new Ouya will be reaching out to developers shortly and we encourage any of the developers who are interested in publishing with the new Ouya to contact them."

Polygon also got in touch with a few Ouya developers (some of whom say they are still owed money) and reported their comments on the issue in the full article, which is well worth a read.

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