Where are the cool games? Where are the killer apps? We couldn't help but ponder those questions in TechHive's review of the $99 Ouya game console, and while a lack of stellar games isn't Ouya's only issue, it's one that the fledgling company is tackling head on. In the race to lock up more exclusive titles, Ouya is turning back to Kickstarter--sort of.
The makers of the $99 game console are offering $1 million to developers of popular games on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Ouya says it will double the funding of any game that raises at least $50,000 in exchange for six months of exclusivity.
The idea is to take small-scale indie games that people are excited about and make them available only on Ouya at launch. By doing so, Ouya may be trying to build some extra buzz around its Android-based console, which has received mixed reviews, and to find the killer app that's been missing so far. Ouya itself has its roots in Kickstarter, having raised $8.6 million on the site last year.
Some restrictions to the "Free the Games Fund" apply: Funding is capped at $250,000 for any individual game, but the most-funded game will receive an extra $100,000. Also, games will only be eligible if they begin their Kickstarter campaigns after August 9, 2013, and before August 10, 2014. In total, Ouya will pay out a maximum of $1,000,000.
It seems like a good deal for developers, but it does risk angering Kickstarter backers who don't own an Ouya. If you back an Android game on Kickstarter, you might not be so happy about Ouya's additional funding, since all it does is prevent you from getting the game on your phone, tablet, or Nvidia Shield for another six months.
Games that are willing to accept Ouya's exclusivity offer will have "Free the Games Fund" logo on their Kickstarter pages, along with a note to potential backers. If you don't have an Ouya console, consider that logo a warning that your game may arrive a bit later than expected.