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Razer confirms Ouya purchase in bid to take over Android TV gaming

Razer has confirmed its acquisition of Ouya, maker of the Android-based game console that started as one of Kickstarter's biggest hits before fizzling out when it came to market with few games, limited functionality, and a bad controller. Razer has purchased Ouya's software assets and hired its technical and developer relations teams in order to further work on its own Android TV gaming initiatives, including Forge TV and a version of Cortex designed for Android TV. Polygon reports that the deal includes about over 1,000 games that will be able to run on Razer's device, making the purchase a quick way to prime it with content. The acquisition was made in all cash, according to TechCrunch; Ouya's hardware was not included.

The acquisition is all about software and games

The sale was first confirmed this morning by Ouya founder Julie Uhrman, who until now had been serving as its CEO. Uhrman said that she was departing from the company, which seems to make sense given that Razer is more or less stripping it for parts to work on its own software and services. She's reportedly helping transition the company over to Razer, although her tweets this morning make it sound like that job may be done.

"Razer has a long-term vision for Android TV and Android-based TV consoles," Min-Liang Tan, Razer's CEO, says in a statement. "This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform."

Razer reportedly plans to continue supporting Ouya's existing game service for a year. At the same time, it'll be encouraging owners of the Ouya to buy a Forge TV, which it promises will include more games and features. That means that after this final year, the Ouya console won't be able to do much.

The Ouya name will live on, but only as the name of Razer's game publishing initiative for Android TV consoles. Unlike Ouya, Razer doesn't intend to keep all of this content exclusive to its own hardware. Polygon reports that it plans to open the games up to the Play Store and to Android consoles in China, which should help to expand the market of Razer's services. It's unclear exactly how that strategy is meant to drive people toward using Cortex for Android TV, but it emphasizes this acquisition's focus on software and services — Razer doesn't seem to be interested in trying to continue Ouya's original strategy. You can read more on the acquisition over at Polygon.

Verge Vault: Ouya hands-on review (2013)