Gaming outfit Razer has recently acquired OUYA – more specifically, its technical and developer relations arms. OUYA, after a blockbuster Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its microconsole, slowly spiraled down as it struggled to find its place in a console market dominated still by Sony and Microsoft. Razer has swooped in to acquire – not including the hardware business, mind you – but was not aware that OUYA had debts to game developers in excess of USD$600,000.
In a classy move, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan has promised to pay the amount owed to the developers through a new game developing deal which basically mirrors the one the developers had with OUYA, only that the games developed will be featured in the planned Cortex for Forge TV store. You see, the money owed is part of Ouya’s Free the Games initiative, where OUYA promised to set aside USD$1 million from their famed Kickstarter fund to have developers make apps and games and distribute them for free via OUYA, with the console makers paying for the development costs.
In OUYA’s defense, some of the developers who have accomplished all the milestones set by the program were already paid. Sadly, those who have not hit their milestones, but are still developing apps and games have nowhere to go. Tan said that he first heard about the debt very recently, and has been awake to sort out what could be done. Tan said that he was aware of the Free the Games Fund, but he didn’t know there was an outstanding debt. “We only acquired the team, the platform and the assets of Ouya,” he said. “We didn’t look at the debts because that’s not how the deal was structured for us.”
The solution to be forwarded by Tan to the developers who have not been paid is classy – as Razer could choose not to shoulder this debt. But it is going to do that through a program that mirrors the OUYA deal, only that the resulting games will be distributed on the new channel envisioned by Razer for OUYA. Tan said that he and his team will be emailing the developers shortly – a lot of these things are still in the air because of people still transitioning from OUYA to Razer. But still, a classy move by Razer all around.