OUYA’s VP of Product Development Muffi Ghadiali, a founding member, has left the company. According to this report from TechCrunch, Ghadiali left on his own terms. He wasn’t fired or asked to resign. While there are no official details about why he left, there are folks that are assuming he jumped ship before OUYA was completely sunk. There are some valid reasons for that type of assumption, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Ghadiali may have left OUYA for any number of reasons. Let’s not feed the FUD, ok? OUYA could be in hot water, but that might not be why Ghadiali left.
With that out of the way, it’s a fact that OUYA is struggling. After a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, the company had millions of crowd-sourced dollars. Then they went through a few rounds of investor funding, raising even more money. The future looked bright for OUYA. Then users realized that their gaming experience on the console just wasn’t that compelling. Word-of-mouth kicked in, and OUYA’s sales started to dry up. However, if you believe this statement from the company about Ghadiali leaving, the company is doing just fine:
“OUYA is focusing more on the next phase of the business and product development. We’ve made some recent changes including the departure of Muffi Ghadiali who was invaluable during the launch of OUYA. As is to be expected, OUYA is an ever-changing business, and as we continue to grow our needs shift accordingly.”
All of the assumptions that you’ll see in the next few days about how OUYA is dead contradict the statement they released. That means one of two things. Either OUYA is blowing smoke in order to cover up a big issue, or blogs are reaching for clicks with a sensational headline about another tech start-up on the brink of going belly up. To quote a friend of mine, “Stop that, you.”
OUYA does have an uphill climb if they want to own the Android gaming space in our living rooms. I’m not saying they don’t. Other than the price, they aren’t offering any real compelling reason to play Android games on your big screen TV. We can add to that mix all of the competitors coming in to challenge them. But let’s not immediately write off a promising idea, that has blossomed into a full-fledged company, just because a founding executive left. Companies shift and change as they grow. We should have learned by now that the less FUD there is on the internet, the better off we all are.