Ouya drops free-to-try requirement

Microconsole developers no longer need to include demo versions of finished games

While Ouya has always billed itself as an open platform for game developers, there was one clear exception to that stance: a requirement that every game available on Ouya have a free-to-try option. That requirement will soon be lifted, according to a blog post on the company's website.

In the post, Ouya's "Games Guy" Bob Mills explained that the decision to lift the requirement was made after more than a year of developers specifically requesting it. Beyond pointing out the policy ran counter to the platform's premise of openness, developers often told Ouya they didn't have the funds or know-how to create a proper demo for their games, or that a trial version just didn't fit creatively with what they were doing.

"So we found ourselves weighing one good thing against another," Mills explained. "Do we support the awesome feeling of getting to try anything before you buy it, or do we make the pathway to publishing on the TV even easier for devs? It was a difficult choice."

The post did not detail any measures to prevent copycat games or remedy customer confusion, two concerns Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman gave as reasons for the requirement's existence last year.

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Latest comments (4)

Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute2 years ago
Jesse Schell explaining how demos hurt game sales
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource2 years ago
Step 1: Get console to consumer - promise all games free. Developers irate.
Step 2: Get developers to console - remove free restriction. Consumers irate.
Step 3: Profit!
Ouya -> Ouno

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Doug McFarlane on 25th March 2014 5:18pm

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Edward Buffery Head of LQA (UK), Testronic2 years ago
Hopefully removing the restriction doesn't mean NO-ONE will include demo levels anymore. I've bought several games on it that I wouldn't have taken a risk on if there hadn't been a trial mode.
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Roberto Dillon Associate Professor, James Cook University2 years ago
I have t o confess in one year I only bought 3 games, yet the idea of trying everything first was indeed one of the main reasons I gave the Ouya itself a go. I don't think the business model for the games is a problem. The problem is that it still feels like there are more developers than players on this platform. As long as the user base doesn't grow it will be tough for everyone to make money regardless of how games are sold...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Roberto Dillon on 26th March 2014 1:34am

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