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Ouya expects first million-dollar devs by the year's end

CEO Julie Uhrman defends console's divisive first month on the market

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman believes that developers on the nascent platform will be reporting revenue in the millions by the end of the year.

Speaking to The Verge, Uhrman challenged the micro-console's critics, who have rallied around its lacklustre reviews and underwhelming sales figures. On the latter issue, Uhrman revealed that 27 per cent of Ouya users have bought a game - all of which are free-to-play initially - since its launch last month, and 13 or the top 20 games report 8 per cent of players choosing to pay.

"I think there are a lot of social and mobile app developers that would kill for an 8 percent attach rate on a platform that's 30 days old," Uhrman said. "These numbers will grow as more gamers pick up consoles, and as we attract more developers, and I believe that by the end of the year, we'll see a few developers telling us they've made more than a million dollars on Ouya."

Ouya developers started reporting their first-month sales figures earlier this week. Several developers expressed disappointment with the performance of their games, with some questioning the worth of the extra effort required to port to the platform.

However, others seemed content with the extra revenue, even though it amounted to only a few thousand extra sales. Indeed, Uhrman offered two of those games - TowerFall, which has made $21,000 to date, and Hidden In Plain Sight, which has made $4,381 - as evidence of Ouya's promise.

"To say developers can't make money on Ouya - I take offense to that," she said. "I'm sure the creators of TowerFall and Hidden in Plain Sight would take offense to that. The console has only been out for a month, and developers have only had access to the hardware for about 6 months. We really like what we see so far, and so do developers and gamers."

Last week, Ouya announced a new initiative that will match a developer's crowd-funded capital dollar-for-dollar in exchange for a period of exclusivity. This move, Uhrman explained, is a manifestation of Ouya's belief that "content is critical" to the platform's future success. That success, though, will take time.

"Five days after launch, reviews came out and people were writing us off. If every company that got mixed results right out of the gate would have given up, we wouldn't have an iPhone, we wouldn't have an iPod."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.