OUYA Revises Free The Games Fund Following Criticisms

Engadget reports that Ouya have revised their “Free The Games” funding program after facing significant criticisms from the indie game developing community. The original FTG campaign concept sees OUYA pledging to Kickstarter fund-match indie game start-ups from a fixed one million dollar budget. OUYA faced criticism though because it said it would start that fund-matching at $50,000 – meaning you need a Kickstarter project that raises at least $50,000 up to a maximum of $250,000 in order to get fund-matched additional funds – so if you raise $50,000 OUYA gives you $50,000 if you agree to some of their terms and conditions such as offering a period of exclusivity to their platform.

OUYA have addressed these concerns by reducing the minimum to $10,000 USD. The campaign was also criticised about potential exploitation by developers trying to force their own projects up, now a minimum number of backers has been implemented – every $10,000 of a project must have at least must have at least 100 backers to be eligible. That change was a response to the fact Gridiron Thunder raised $171,009 from just 183 backers (meaning an average of around $935 per backer). Many believed that game had exploited the program in order to secure additional funding but that game recently withdrew from the FTG program.

OUYA’s Julie Uhrman now claims that projects will be reviewed on a case by case basis to look for people who may try and exploit the rules.

“It’s no longer just fine print to us. You need to play by the spirit of the fund as much as the rules. We can’t account for every loophole. So, if we, or our community, feel you are gaming the system, we will review your project (and consult with our developer friends for their advice) and determine whether to fund it or not.” Said Julie Uhrman on the OUYA blog.

Full details of the updated rules can be seen here.

Image courtesy of OUYA