Ouya’s “Free The Games Fund” Offers To Double The Money Of Successfully Kickstarted Games


After successfully raising over $8.5 million on Kickstarter last year, the recently launched Android console, Ouya, is now looking to give back to developers through a Free The Games Fund. They have 1 million dollars to give to successfully funded games on Kickstarter, providing they meet certain pre-requisites. These include launching a Kickstarter campaign for a game between August 9th 2013 and having it end on or before August 10th 2014, the game’s successful garnering of at least $50,000 in funding and its successfully funding too, and it must be a game that fits within their content guidelines.

Other requirements are an agreement to have the game released on Ouya exclusively for at least six months. Lastly, you have to send all the details of your Kickstarter to [email protected] and agree to the terms and conditions that will follow. Luckily, the agreements state that the exclusivity deal is ONLY for those games that Ouya give extra funding too. So don’t worry about that.

If everything goes right and the game successfully meets the funding requirements, Ouya will then double the amount the game received from backers up to $250,000, and this money will only be available up until the million dollars is gone. Plus, the Kickstarted game that makes the most on Kickstarter will receive and additonal $100,000 from Ouya, just because.

Free The Games FundThat sounds pretty decent, right? You raise the money you need to create your game, you get extra funding on top of that and you get the support of the Ouya team too. And all you have to do is release the game on Ouya exclusively for the first six months, plus you can still keep all the profits the game makes on the console during that time.

There are a couple of extra tidbits I’d add to that as well. Firstly, you won’t get the money from Ouya all in one go. You receive 25% when the Kickstarter is over, 50% when the game launches on Ouya and the last 25% once the six months exclusivity on Ouya is over. It’s a pretty good thing that they’ve split the money up like that, I think.

You may think it’s not because the developers might want to put that extra money into the development of the game. No, this would probably be the wrong way to go about it.

Consider that the Kickstarter money should have been enough to make the game the developer needed. That’s what Kickstarter tends to be for, and should be for, really. A development team that has more money than what they asked for to make the game may feel pressured to add more to the game, and this has become a trend with stretch goals. But it’s a little bit silly. Just because a development team have more money than what they needed to complete the game they pitched, it doesn’t mean they have to add more features. Why can’t they put that money aside and invest it towards another game, or just enjoy it if they wish? It’s up to them. All they promised is the game (and whatever other rewards that came along with it), so they’re under no obligation to add extra features because they received more money.

Perhaps they need extra money because they under-budgeted or development just costs more, or took longer than what they thought. This is when extra funding is useful, so the extra 25% offered by Ouya after the Kickstarter has been successful will help with that. However, Ouya make it clear that this is more like prize money that the developers can do with as they wish. And their dishing it out in three chunks, two of which being issued after the game is complete, encourages the developer to look towards another project. That’s much better than offering extra features based on how much funding was received, if you ask me.

Developers should be encouraged to put money aside for security more often. That said, maybe those who can generate at least $50,000 on Kickstarter aren’t the ones that need extra funding.

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