Ouya offers to match Kickstarter fundraising for new games


Ouya, the manufacturer of an open source games console, says it will pay up to a million dollars to help fund game developers.

The money has been set aside for developers who use Kickstarter to raise money for making games. As long as the developer gets a fully-funded project raising at least $50,000 on the site, Ouya will match the crowdfunding total up to a limit of $250,000 for a single game.

The funding matching, known as Free The Games, will continue until August next year or until the full million dollars has been spent, whichever happens first. There’ll also be a $100,000 bonus for whichever game earns the most during the program.

Naturally there are a couple of catches. Developers must register their interest with Ouya before starting the Kickstarter campaign, and can then use a special logo and message from the company. Most importantly, they’ll have to commit to making the game Ouya-exclusive for the first six months.

According to Ouya, the idea of the program is not only to help new developers (and ensure a steady stream of new and creative games), but also to recognize the importance Kickstarter played in the console itself. Ouya attracted $8.5 million of donations through the site, the second highest in Kickstarter History.

The company says that more than 20,000 developers have downloaded the toolkits for making Ouya games and argues that although a million bucks isn’t much in the gaming industry, it could make a difference for people working on small-scale indy games.

The console launched with 150 games available, a figure that’s now hit 250. That said, reviews have been patchy and there’s no real breakthrough title that’s helped make Ouya a must-buy.