Gamer Raises $9 Million Through Crowdfunding to Fund Dream of New Gaming System

Crowdfunds $9 million for new gaming system

Initially known as Boxer8, Ouya, a gaming console hosted on Android, commonly seen on tablets and mobile devices, was conceived in 2012 with the idea of enticing mobile-based game developers to move to bigger screens. As the former CEO of Ouya said, the company believed that gaming was best suited for bigger screens, such as high definition TVs, and so, saw mobile gaming as a waste of the developer’s talents. As microtransactions and ads plagued the mobile gaming industry, Ouya aimed at breaking the duopoly held by Sony and Microsoft when it came to home gaming consoles, and turned to Android, an open-source OS, so that anyone could get their hands on the code and develop a game for Ouya.

              When they took their idea to kickstarter, they raised nearly $9 million in 2012, as both players and developers became extremely excited. They offered a variety of services in exchange for crowdfunding – $10 for creating an account and reserving a username to $90 for a console. Some backers who committed upwards of $10,000 were entitled to a customized console featuring a customized message engraved onto the body of the console along with an invitation to Ouya’s launch party. 

             Ouya, however, was faced with the challenge of meeting the demand they had generated through their crowdfunding campaign. Ouya had failed to gauge the video gaming industry accurately, and so, was severely disadvantaged when compared to some of their more established competitors, namely Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. As a result, they saw a slew of supply and production issues, forcing them to backtrack on timelines and schedules. Eventually, they were forced to hand out free games and credits on their digital store to customers who were forced to wait much longer than anticipated.

While Ouya’s initial crowdfunding campaign saw immense success, the company simply could not stand up to the giants in the industry. After their initial success, they launched a digital store that featured up to 1,200 games, but, the home console wasn’t a widespread commercial success. Eventually, the company was sold to hardware manufacturer, Razer Inc., who absorbed them in a bid to launch a new, streaming friendly digital platform

You have to treat crowdfunding money as if it's your life's savings...

Be careful when you make promises because backers of Ouya saw the consoles in stores BEFORE they received theirs.  What not to do when crowdfunding and making promises.

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