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Report: Ouya for sale

"We believe we've built something real and valuable" says CEO in leaked memo

Microconsole company Ouya is up for sale after failing to restructure its debt, according to an email sent out by its CEO Julie Uhrman.

Fortune saw the memo, in which Uhrman suggested the process would be quick and the company was "looking for expressions of interest by the end of this month."

Investment bank Mesa Global is reported to be managing the sale.

"Our focus now is trying to recover as much investor capital as possible," said Uhrman in the memo.

"We believe we've built something real and valuable. I continue to read the tweets and emails of our fans who play OUYA every day, and our catalog is now over 1,000 apps and 40,000 developers. We have the largest library of Android content for the TV (still more than Amazon) - hells ya!"

GamesIndustry.biz has contacted Ouya directly for confirmation.

Ouya was launched on Kickstarter in July 2012, and 63,416 backers pledged $8,596,474. In 2013 it raised $15 million from Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield Fund, Occam Partners, Shasta Ventures and NVIDIA.

Earlier this year Chinese internet company Alibaba invested $10 million in Ouya with plans to incorporate Ouya's software and library of more than 1,000 games into Alibaba's set-top box.

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Latest comments (16)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
Shocker of the century

A console designed for and bought by pirates who want to play their emulators not selling software. *gasp*
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe2 years ago
"We believe we've built something real and valuable" - the market seems to disagree...
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Shane Sweeney Academic 2 years ago
All I keep thinking is Kellee Santiago in a developer relations role at Ouya is a waste of her talent.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 29th April 2015 6:38am

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Show all comments (16)
Rogier Voet IT Consultant 2 years ago
Just proves that little details are vital - the idea of a small android powered console is not bad, but the poor: controller, bad marketplace, lack of popular payment options and the complete lack of any positive marketing for this device stopped the momentum and the world moved on.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
Rogier, I'd argue it never had any momentum. I don't think anyone is really excited about Android microconsoles. Amazon is treating it as secondary to their larger ecosystem. But without that larger piece, no one really cares. Frankly, the only Microconsole I see succeeding is a Steambox based on the Intel Compute stick that simply has a "these games can run on this" store configured for it.
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Rolf Klischewski Founder & CEO, gameslocalization.com2 years ago
How many devs do you need to make an Ouya app? 40.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd2 years ago
Microconsoles in general and the Ouya in particular were born out of a misunderstanding of why people bought consoles, why people were excited by indie games, and how quickly the market would change to embrace digital distribution. The nextgen consoles (which turned out to be more indie-friendly and in tune with consumer tastes than most people predicted based on the last gen) and the resurgence of the PC completely blindsided them.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve2 years ago
@Rolf,
I was thinking along the same lines. It's really not worth bragging that you've had so many people sign up for a free account when so little of them do anything significant with it.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.2 years ago
Well put, Robin.

OUYA always felt to me like a solution to a problem that didn't technically exist.

The majority of that initial Kickstarter funding was from the indie community itself, not consumers. Lots of producers plus few consumers equals a bad market environment.

Also:
A. "We believe we've built something real and valuable" says Uhrman.
B. "Our focus now is trying to recover as much investor capital as possible," said Uhrman.

Ma'am, you can't really say A and then follow it up with B. If you had A, you wouldn't need B.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 29th April 2015 3:59pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
...and our catalog is now over 1,000 apps and 40,000 developers...
For some reason, that part had me nearly choke on a cup of tea. The rest of those guys and gals better finish their homework and go make or complete some games, stat. There's a bit of a backlog that needs to be caught up on.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
@Greg

40,000 people expressed interest, allegedly.

I've seen some comments from the back 39k. Sentiments can be summed up as "zero consumer interest, controller sucks, once I saw it not worth my time"
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Shane Sweeney Academic 2 years ago
Well I don't see the need for some of the negativity in this and other industry only threads (and I'm reminding myself as well). Ouya is a startup with great talent and was an ally to the industry. Yes, many of us may of predicted this but sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong. Having an idea, then executing it, and shipping it is commendable even if unsuccessful. We shouldn't be joyous or mean about it.

The rise and fall of Ouya has happened in the space of us *still* waiting for the Occulus Rift

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 30th April 2015 12:19am

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James Podesta Programmer 2 years ago
I think it only had some momentum at all because it was timed at the back end of the last console round and there was all this sentiment that consoles were dead and people were looking for something new. As soon as the PS4 turned up and proved them all wrong, the ouya ceased to have any purpose.
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Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe2 years ago
This all sounds to me like someone knows the ship got a huge leak and is now sending an SOS. Most likely too late.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
As soon as the PS4 turned up and proved them all wrong, the ouya ceased to have any purpose.
I think you're missing the original point of the Ouya. It was designed to be a cheap open platform for developing and playing games on the TV. PS4 is neither cheap nor is it open, though it has other advantages in its form factor, brand history and corporate funding.

The Ouya was unlikely to set the world on fire, but it was an interesting proof of concept. The Microconsole has definitely seen boost from the platform's original campaign, what remains to be seen is how much success the bigger players such as Nvidia and Google will see with their offerings.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up2 years ago
I'm guessing this just wasnt to be one of google's acquisitions. Proof though, that if you are successful on kickstarter, second round investment will come a lot easier because of the momentum you generated.
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