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Ouya loses another Free the Games entry

Successfully funded Kickstarter project halted as developer says console maker threw it under the bus

Ouya's Free the Games Fund continues to cost the company good will. Sucker Free Games today halted its successfully funded Kickstarter campaign for an Ouya beat-'em-up called Dungeons the Eye of Draconus, accusing the console maker of changing the rules on its promotion mid-stream.

The Free the Games promotion was established in July, and promised to match Kickstarter donations for any game that committed to a six-month exclusivity window on the console and raised more than $50,000 on its own. Since then, multiple projects have been accused of gaming the system (one of which was suspended) and Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman mounted a defense of the program despite attempts to exploit it.

Dungeons the Eye of Draconus had received $54,067 in pledges from 180 backers when it was halted this morning. Sucker Free developer William A. McDonald explained the cancelation in an update.

"With less than two days to go they have removed our #Freethegames link from the Ouya homepage and delisted us from website," he wrote. "The timing aligns with winning back of some devs that threatened to pull their games through conversations on Twitter. It appears we were thrown under the FTG bus."

In a previous update for project backers, McDonald explained a sudden $50,000 surge of funding the project received last week, saying the money came from his father. The post was made as "a bid for transparency" in light of previous controversies over Free the Games project funding.

"If we had remained silent we very likely would have received the funds, our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing," McDonald wrote, adding, "Misinformation ran wild, climaxing not in an investigation on the part of Ouya, but in our de-listing from their fund without explanation or even the decency of a notification. Without Ouya match funds and only $4,055 in donations from our crowd source backers, the cost of swag, taxes and fees would cause us to have a net loss of approximately $11,000."

Sucker Free is continuing development of the game, but will not be developing it on Ouya any longer. Ouya had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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