On Kickstarter, Ouya was a blockbuster, raising more than $8.5 million in one of the most successful campaigns in the crowd-funding site's history. With critics, Ouya has so far been a dud, and the Android console has dealt with shipping problems as well. Now, it seems, Ouya is dealing with one more hurdle — gamers are reportedly largely sticking to free games, rather than upgrading to paid titles. According to reports from Edge, IGN, and Gamasutra, a handful of developers say they've seen slow sales on Ouya, and thus far, nobody has racked up breakout sales.
Ouya has been in gamers hands for about a month — though Kickstart backers have had the consoles since March — and in that time, the best sales shared publicly so far have come from Matt Thorson, the developer behind the game TowerFall, Edge said in a report. TowerFall has consistently sat among the top of Ouya's download charts and to date it has been purchased on Ouya about 2,000 times, at a price of $15 per download, the report said. That brings TowerFall's revenue total to about $21,000 in just under four weeks, which Thorson described to Edge as "surprisingly high for a new game on a new console."
No true breakout sellers so far
Other titles have failed to generate as much revenue as TowerFall has. Hidden in Plain Sight has sold 1,900 copies on Ouya, generating $4,381 in sales for developer Adam Spragg, according to Gamasutra. Knightmare Tower, made by Juicy Beast, has been downloaded 49,000 times, but just 2,100 gamers have purchased the game, IGN reported. The sales have brought Juicy Beast about $6,000 in revenue on Ouya, the report said. NimbleBit, the developer behind the game Nimble Quest, has seen its game downloaded 6,508 times so far, with just 122 gamers upgrading to the paid version of the game. The company told Edge it's made $427 in profit. Robot Invader, the maker of the game Wind-Up Knight, has made $726.88 on Ouya so far, with just 150 of 15,000 gamers opting to pay for the full title after trying the free version, IGN said.
Ouya is willing to pay for exclusives At this point, Ouya isn't close to generating millions for developers, and nobody has claimed to have a breakout hit. Ouya officials didn't respond for requests for comment by press time, but the company knows it needs good games to press forward. In fact, Ouya has been pushing developers to make games specifically for its hardware. On Thursday, Ouya announced its $1 million 'Free the Games Fund,' which will match donations on Kickstarter between $50,000 and $250,000 for developers who commit to making their games exclusive to its console for at least six months.