Ouya Devs Reveal Disappointment at Games Sales Figures

Launching a console is no easy feat as consumers are (naturally) wary of new hardware from an equally new and untested company. 

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. 

  • godfather666
    This won't be a popular comment... but I feel that the people who buy Ouya are the kind of people who are either too poor to buy a lot of games, or those who may have money, but also have left-leaning political beliefs that make them ideologically opposed to buying software/games.

    So, maybe that's why.
  • IndignantSkeptic
    godfather666, you sound like a religiot but then you have 666 in your name and a religiot wouldn't do that because they would think they'd go to hell just for doing that. So, I'm confused about what you are.
  • teh_chem
    All this talk about OUYA being an open platform, and the OUYA store being an open store...what laughs! It's even more closed than Android and the Google Play store!

    godfather666; you're right, that is not a popular comment. It's also a very ignorant and baseless comment that makes no logical sense.
  • hakesterman
    I think people buying Ouya are people who are trying an alternative to 500 dollar consoles and $60.00 games, nothing more, nothing less.....
  • kinggraves
    Enjoy your alternative, you get what you pay for in the real world. The games on Ouya or any mobile are not as quality as the "60 dollar games", and the ones that are of that quality have other pay models which could have you spending far over 60. You could have hit up the Steam sale as well and gotten a dozen quality games worth hundreds of hours for 60. The Ouya is a piece of garbage trying to wave the "we're so indie, we can make mistakes" flag. It released to it's backers unfinished and glitchy, leaving them to beta test a product they technically did pay for already. Many of the designers that released to the Ouya have poorly optimized products they barely worked on, so expecting a "return" is an absolute joke. The only thing that works decently is emulators, and I don't expect the devs of those games are going to be thanking Ouya for helping to rip off their products.
  • dark_knight33
    It's actually a bit of a PITA to hook my tablet (Transformer Inifinity, also Tegra 3) up to my TV. Additionally, there are only a handful of titles that are worth going through the trouble to play on the big screen. OUYA is a great solution to a minor problem for me. If OUYA wants to be successful, they need to get a couple of exclusive titles that are compelling to play. That might require some developer subsidization from OUYA to get started.

    OUYA is a wonderful concept that a lot of people like, but the broader market doesn't appreciate. If they want to move consoles, they need to play where the big boys (e.g. XBL arcade) aren't, and do it better than Amazon who is also in the Android market. As it is, it seems like they were expecting the idea to sell the hardware, and it won't.
  • dark_knight33
    11216209 said:
    The Ouya is a piece of garbage trying to wave the "we're so indie, we can make mistakes" flag. It released to it's backers unfinished and glitchy, leaving them to beta test a product they technically did pay for already.

    They didn't pay for a finished product. It was quite clear that the first units coming out were *not* finished devices and were intended for developers. It's part of the problem with running a Kickstarter campaign, that people think they are buying finished products at a discount price because they are "pre-ordering" and it's a joke, on them, for thinking it.

  • wogilvie
    This is an easy one. Many people bought this thing as an emulator box, media streamer, or just to hack it. Nobody was actually interested in the games that were being made for it.
  • samwelaye
    1. Many people who bought it bought it for XBMC, emulating old games, or tinkering with.
    2. EVERY game must have a free-to-play model of some sort. This gives the feeling of not wanting to pay for games at all. So if a different game gives more fun for the same free, people will just keep game hopping instead of buying one and finishing it.
  • captaincharisma
    i just got my Ouya the other day. i just got it so i have something to replace my nintendo wii with for play old video games like nes and genesis. i also like the media capabilities too with XBMC being supported. it does have much now and has a long way to go but it looks promising