Once hailed as one of the biggest crowdfunding success stories, Android gaming microconsole maker OUYA is reportedly in desperate need of a buyer. Amidst slowing sales and mounting debts, OUYA has reportedly put itself up for sale with no end in sight to their financial woes.
According to a leaked E-mail, CEO and founder Julie Uhrman wrote in confidence to investors earlier this month, the company was apparently unable to satisfy all the terms of a loan agreement, and renegotiation had been unsuccessful. In order to make up for the financial shortfall, OUYA would need a buyout as soon as possible. In her email, Uhrman noted that OUYA’s “focus now is trying to recover as much investor capital as possible… given our debt holder’s timeline, the process will be quick. We are looking for expressions of interest by the end of this month”. However, when writing about the product itself, Uhrman sounded upbeat and said “We believe we’ve built something real and valuable … our catalog is now over 1,000 apps and 40,000 developers. We have the largest library of Android content for the TV (still more than Amazon)”.
For the uninitiated, OUYA, is a company that develops and markets an eponymous gaming microconsole running a forked version of Android. The company was founded in 2012 by Uhrman, after receiving over $8.5 million through crowdfunding on Kickstarter. But the product itself never really took off and early investors complained about not getting their deliveries on schedule. Buyers were also disappointed with the unpolished software and underwhelming hardware, leading to disappointing sales of the devices. The Android gaming console market has got many more contenders now than it did back in 2012, but most have failed to go beyond the niche and generate any significant mainstream consumer interest. That failure even extends to some of the biggest names in gaming. Among them, Nvidia, who recently announced its Shield microconsole and Valve, who had earlier announced its Steam Link microconsole,
Earlier this year, it was reported that OUYA had received an infusion of capital to the tune of $10 million from Chinese tech company Alibaba, but this apparently wasn’t anywhere near enough to help OUYA tide through the rough waters. Asked about the leaked mail and its implications, OUYA’s press representatives refused to comment.