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Ouya hits 10,000 developers milestone

Ouya hits 10,000 developers milestone

Fri 19 Apr 2013 6:55am GMT / 2:55am EDT / 11:55pm PDT
Hardware

Kellee Santiago: "Partnerships with larger developers and publishers will be coming up in the next few months"

Android-based console Ouya had its big coming out party at GDC last month, and started shipping to its Kickstarter backers. At the time, CEO Julie Uhrman told us that Ouya had already signed 8,000 developers. Less than a month later, newly hired head of developer relations, Kellee Santiago (co-founder of Journey developer thatgamecompany) has told GamesIndustry International that Ouya is now up to 10,000 developers worldwide.

"It's really awesome, especially at this early stage of the console still being in the preview period. The last month I've been so excited to just interact with the Ouya developers who are really people who signed on to the mission statement of Ouya early on and are the people who are just as excited as we are about the platform. It's been great to hear and that the number continues to grow at such a rapid pace is very validating," she remarked.

A lot of the games that we (and the media at large) have seen have been rough around the edges, and certainly not polished like the triple-A games found on more expensive consoles than Ouya. That's to be expected at this early stage, however, Santiago said.

"I think a lot of the developers have appropriately approached this early phase in getting their dev kits with just playing around and experimenting with the platform, so what you see on the store today are a number of sort of raw experiments, which I think is really cool that you can have a console that has such raw material on it, but we are also seeing more just genuinely fun and polished experiences. Partnerships with larger developers and publishers will be coming up in the next few months," she noted.

"It's not so much the triple-A versus indie anymore, people are playing games of quality wherever they come from. Maybe indie is more a way of just doing business"

That's something Ouya could definitely use more of. While there are a few standouts already, like Double Fine and Kim Swift, having more content from prominent studios could make a huge difference to the fate of Ouya. We couldn't help but wonder if Santiago could convince her old buddies at thatgamecompany to bring a new game to Ouya.

Needless to say, she wouldn't reveal anything. "[thatgamecompany] had announced that they're platform agnostic and I think a lot of developers in general are going that way to leave projects open to any possibility... Also, I think climaxing at GDC this year there's this sense that it's not so much the triple-A versus indie anymore, and people are playing games of quality wherever they come from and maybe indie is more and more a way of just doing business," she added.

As encouraged as Santiago is about the independent scene and what she's seen on Ouya, the former developer (who's worked closely with Indie Fund also) recognizes that there's work to be done still for indies.

"There are definitely more opportunities than ever before for independent developers to find success but I'm also very passionate now about making sure we don't get too comfortable with the way things are today because I think we're still far from having an extremely diverse set of voices and experiences within games," she said. "But one of the reasons I was very excited to join Ouya was to examine the situation from the console and distribution side and how we can continue to improve upon these channels that have offered a lot more variety; there's still more work to do there in discoverability and empowering different types of people to make games."

Ouya's arrival marks a very different approach to launching a console for the living room, but it's certainly had its fair share of naysayers following its unveiling last month. Critics have said it's simply not retail ready and others have pointed to its slower benchmark results compared to other Android devices. Santiago didn't hesitate to address both of these points.

Santiago and Uhrman both pointed out that the benchmark tests were performed on an older development system, but the core message that Ouya has been sending is that it's not about polygons, it's about gameplay experiences. "I think it's fundamentally about experiences the developers make. What are the quality of the experiences themselves? Our goal at Ouya is to empower developers to provide entertaining experiences for the living room," Santiago said.

"Critics have their job but what I can say is Ouya is a small company and we're very nimble and what's been encouraging about the criticism and the feedback so far is that it's all stuff we're aware of and we're working on. It's great to hear it because we are still in this preview period and we continue to iterate and improve upon the console in a way that no other company can. For our gamers and developers that creates a very supportive ecosystem for them."

With other Android microconsoles, like GameStick, hitting the market, and the next-gen systems launching this holiday, Ouya has a long road ahead of itself in order to gain traction. Santiago doesn't appear worried.

"What attracted me to Ouya in the first place is that Julie Uhrman and all the people in our tiny gang are signed on not just because there's some identification of a gap in the marketplace; there's a bigger mission that we have, which is to allow for that freedom and accessibility that developers and gamers have through the fast advancements that digital distribution has created in the mobile market and on the PC side, which has stagnated in the living room," she said. "And there are developers that still want to create engaging living room experiences, whether that means deeper gameplay experiences or more shared social experiences - whatever that definition is - but they want to do that and they can't right now. I think there's this greater goal that Ouya has, which in my mind is what separates them [from other consoles or microconsoles]."

9 Comments

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,169 953 0.8
Hardware and OS factors are all well and good but it really is development that will change everything. We all know what happens when a console has "noe gaems".
"What attracted me to Ouya in the first place is that Julie Uhrman and all the people in our tiny gang are signed on not just because there's some identification of a gap in the marketplace; there's a bigger mission that we have, which is to allow for that freedom and accessibility that developers and gamers have through the fast advancements that digital distribution has created in the mobile market and on the PC side, which has stagnated in the living room,"
...and this it why I was attracted to the platform. The concept pulls many good strings but we'll have to see to what extent this mission results in something special for both the development community and gamers looking for something new. Judging by the early impression, a lot more time is needed - though that's understandable.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,266 2,405 1.1
Popular Comment
10,000 sounds incredibly impressive but it's also an indication of just how red that platform has become. If each launched just 1 game, that's a product catalog of 10,000 games. Far more than could ever be viable as a profitable ecosystem for even a 1/4th of those 10,000 developers.

I wish you all the best of luck but the more that number rises, the more you become just a drop in the bucket.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Martin Klima
Executive Producer

26 50 1.9
Popular Comment
That really must be the first console to have more people developing for it than playing on it.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

853 1,109 1.3
I'm sure few if any of those are "developing for it". They're busy haxoring their iaps and changing the control method from whatever the current android version looks like. Most of them, if they have scalable graphics, will also be scaling them back.

I was trying to keep an open mind on this one, but I have to say it's closing fast. Not heard a single compelling reason for getting one of these yet. Granted it's cheap, but it's not cheaper than the phone, tablet and console I already have - all of which are also more powerful with the same (and way more other) games.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Andy Samson
QA Supervisor

235 179 0.8
Quantity over quality, this was how video games almost died in the first place. The system will be flooded with subpar to mediocre titles and you know what happens to flood water, it becomes stagnant.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,178 1,127 0.5
Let me see now... I own over 2000 physical games and a small but decent percentage of them are terrible (but most of these bad games are part of my passion). I can't even imagine what the number would be with a 10,000 game library, but yeah... this should be interesting seeing what happens with Ouya as those numbers grow.

That and hell, what kind of menu system will the thing use to gather all those potential titles? It may take longer to FIND a game you want than to play the damn thing... ;^P

Posted:A year ago

#6

Rogier Voet
Editor / Content Manager

71 31 0.4
It's easy, I still look forward to the Ouya (my tablet and phone are all Android Based) and with the excellent version of XBMC ready for Ouya I can dismiss my old Apple TV (I never like Apple to begin with).

I understand the sceptic approach to Ouya (and yes it does indeed need games) but it would be very unlikely that no decent games will arrive out of those 10000 developers. But if Ouya want's to succeed they really need to secure some deals with game creators to produce some indie gems.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Rogier Voet
Editor / Content Manager

71 31 0.4
I own over 2000 physical games and a small but decent percentage of them are terrible (but most of these bad games are part of my passion). I can't even imagine what the number would be with a 10,000 game library,
Hmmmm did everyone forget the Pile of Crap that is/was present on SNES, Nintendo DS and Wii and don't forget the App Store and Google Play the amount of shit there is unbelievable....

Posted:A year ago

#8

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,178 1,127 0.5
Hmmmm did everyone forget the Pile of Crap that is/was present on SNES, Nintendo DS and Wii and don't forget the App Store and Google Play the amount of shit there is unbelievable....
Yup, that's what I meant. I didn't say NO good games would get released on Ouya. It's just that the chances are even more staggering that a LOT of them won't be that good (or just decent or better-made clones or better titles). 10,000 developers is like 10,000 pizza shops. Not all will be good, but there's going to be that dollar slice that's better than the five-dollar one and no one will want to pay more after that point unless it's something so brilliant that it justifies the price.

Posted:A year ago

#9

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