In an effort to get developers to create games exclusively for the OUYA, the company decided to use some of its $8.5 million Kickstarter funding to match the money earned by developers on their own crowdfunding campaign, which seemed like a fantastic idea, provided developers raised a minimum of $10,000 with a minimum of 100 backers.
Unfortunately for those who signed contracts with OUYA to be a part of this program, they’re apparently still owed thousands from this, according to several anonymous developers who have contacted Vice. These owed payments vary from $5,000 to $30,000.
The news comes shortly after OUYA’s storefront and technical team is acquired by Razer and OUYA’s now ex-CEO and co-founder scarpers from the company.
This comes as no real surprise considering the way OUYA initially handled the Free the Games fund and the various controversies surrounding the system which caused many to trick the system in order to get the free cash. Things were later tweaked and updated, which included a new clause that said developers would receive 50 per cent of the money when they completed a playable beta, 25 per cent when the game launched, and the final 25 per cent when the exclusivity period ends.
According to the Vice article, as developers were launching their beta builds, a new contract was placed in front of them which stated that either party may terminate the agreement in the event that the other party becomes insolvent, unable to pay its debts, or goes bankrupt.
In an effort to keep things on the down low, it’s being reported that OUYA informed developers via Skype that they’d receive no more cash due to the Razer acquisition, and claimed that OUYA would cease to exist. Because of this, OUYA suggested that Razer may be able to help, and “gently” requested that developers didn’t take the news to the press.
“[Ouya] paid the first instalment when we submitted our beta,” one developer told Vice. “I’ve been working on bringing the game to release expecting to attain the remaining two instalments but that won’t happen now. A lot of hard work went into controller support and UI elements just for OUYA. It’s hard to ask for additional artwork to finish a game when the tail end of your budget just disappears, much less advertise upon release.”
If these reports are true, Razer has claimed a bit of baggage with this acquisition and all eyes are now on the peripheral maker to see if they’ll step up to the plate and honour what OUYA could not.