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Kickstarted, Android-Based Microconsole Ouya Acquired by Razer

The cute little Ouya box is as good as dead.
July 27, 2015, 4:30pm
Photo courtesy Ouya

Gaming peripheral company Razer announced it has acquired the software and team behind Ouya, the Android-based "micro-console" that was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2012.

No terms of the deal were disclosed.

The acquisition is meant to bolster Razer's own micro-console, the Forge TV, and its accompanying software known as Cortex TV.

"In the near future, Razer will be providing existing OUYA users with a clear path of migration to the more advanced Forge TV micro-console and Serval controller bundle," Razer said in a statement. "Razer's intention is to allow OUYA users to bring their games, controllers, and accounts to the Cortex TV platform on the Forge micro-console, advancing the experience of Android gaming on TV that they have previously enjoyed."

TechCrunch reports that Ouya CEO and co-founder Julie Uhrman will not join Razer, and that the company didn't acquire the hardware part of Ouya's business, the controller and console itself, which was essential to the company's original pitch.

It was a good pitch: Normally, indie game developers have to go through the bureaucracy at one of the big console manufacturers (Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft) to allow people to play their games on a television. The $99 Ouya runs a modified version of Android and allowed pretty much anyone who wanted to develop and publish a game on its platform to do so. Basically, it intended to take the more open model that created an explosion of mobile game development on Android smartphones by giving those developers, and anyone else who cared to join, access to a TV screen and controller.

It was a nice fantasy and a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that raised $8.5 million. For a short time, a slew of imitators like GameStick, GamePop, and other micro-consoles followed, but none of them got very far, including Ouya.

Ouya struggled to onboard notable indie games, and in when it got exciting exclusives like TowerFall, they soon ended on consoles like the PlayStation 4 anyway.

Razer said it plans to keep investing in its Forge TV microconsole, controllers, and software.