Developers weigh in on whether or not developing for the Ouya was a worthwhile experience.
The Ouya, thus far, has managed to move units. Using Kickstarter to gain traction, the indie console managed to raise record numbers in funding, which was later bolstered by venture capitalist money. Kickstarter sales combined with sales at retail have allowed the Ouya to do modestly well as a new console.
Of course, one of the draws of a console is its ability to court developers. The Ouya, as an open platform, has attracted plenty of indie developers, both new and veterans to the industry. Edge and Gamasutra have both independently caught up with a few of these developers to see the successes, if any, that they have had with the platform.
The developer most positive about the new console was Matt Thorson, developer of Towerfall, one of the Ouya's most critically and commercially successful games. "We’ve made about 2000 sales so far at $15 each," he stated to Edge."So sales have been surprisingly high for a new game on a new console. The game has definitely proven itself on Ouya, I think there’s enough demand to warrant bringing it to PC.
"Launching on Ouya got me a lot of attention, and the sales have been better than expected."
NimbleBit, developer of mobile adventure game Nimble Quest, also had quite a few positive things to say. "We released it on OUYA simply because we were using Unity and it was pretty much a snap to port it," said NimbleBit's David Marsh. "I would wholeheartedly recommend the OUYA to indie devs that have an existing pipeline to Android and are interested in what the OUYA does. It’s probably not going to be a huge source of income compared to other platforms, but it’s dead easy to submit a game and get it into the store. It’s the only console right now with a truly open store, which makes it interesting and worth supporting if you want to see more open platforms. It’s also a great device to have just to check out all sorts of neat experimental multiplayer games that are already popping up. I think it’s a step in the right direction." Nimble Quest was downloaded 6,508 times with 122 purchases. It made back only $427 in profit.
Other developers had a few less positive things to say. Ryan Wiemeyer, developer of Organ Trail, stated that sales were below expectations: "It's sold about half of what my low-end predictions were. Last I checked we were at 501 purchases from 13,112 downloads. (a 3.8 percent attach rate.) This accounts for about 0.1 percent of our total Organ Trail sales to date (which is over 400,000.) So, I don't even know if it was worth the man hours yet. Then again... Organ Trail was a pain to add controller support to and that was the bulk of the port."
E. McNeill, developer of Bomball, shared similar sentiments: "Bombball is making a little over $30 a day, before Ouya's cut. I kind of knew from the start that I was making a game that would be difficult to sell. Still, I let my expectations get inflated over time, and now I'm a little disappointed with the sales."
It seems that sales on the Ouya were a little bit on the low end for developers. Most were either resigned to the fact that the Ouya was a new console or expressed disappointment. In weighing the pros and cons of the console, such as the console's open platform nature versus its poor hardware, it seems like most of the developers interviewed are at least positive about releasing another title for the indie console.