from the up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a dept
For those that read Techdirt regularly, the idea of disruptive technology is nothing new. We have seen people and businesses bring disruption to many industries as well as to many business models. The internet has allowed such disruption to spread at a far faster pace than in previous decades. For example, services like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu have turned the world of film and television upside down. For music it was the mp3 and everything that it allowed. With video games, the story is not quite as well defined.
We have seen some disruption over the years, the Wii being a primary one. It showed the gaming world that the graphical arms race of previous console generations was not as important as innovation in the way people play games. Another disruption happened because of Facebook and mobile gaming. These platforms brought with them the proliferation of a free-to-play business model for gaming. The idea that people could play games for free and then pay money later was something never tried since shareware fell out of favor. These little pockets of disruption have shown that there is a market for gaming outside the typical retail console and PC arena. A market that is ripe for the harvesting.
With all that in mind, imagine the breath of fresh air for gamers when a new Android based console, the OUYA, was announced via Kickstarter. The OUYA promises to be just the kind of disruption the games industry needs. Describing this need, the creators say:
The console market is pushing developers away. We’ve seen a brain drain: some of the best, most creative gamemakers are focused on mobile and social games because those platforms are more developer-friendly. And the ones who remain focused on console games can’t be as creative as they’d like.
Let’s open this sucker up! It’s time we brought back innovation, experimentation, and creativity to the big screen. Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy. With all our technological advancements, shouldn’t costs be going down? Gaming could be cheaper!
Among its chief selling points is the open development environment. This means that anyone can make and sell games on the console with the only barriers to entry being owning the console and making sure that some aspect of the game is free to play. For gamers, the only barrier to entry to playing these games is the initial $99 it costs.
So how well was this new console received? Well, Kickstarter itself has that covered in a blog post:
Yesterday a video game project called Ouya became the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise more than a million dollars, and the fastest ever to do so. Ouya hit the total in just over eight hours, shattering the previous record.
As you might expect, Ouya also has the biggest single-day total in Kickstarter history. It received more than $2.5 million in pledges from its launch on Tuesday at 8:44am to Wednesday at 8:44am.
Two Kickstarter records broken in a single day by a single project. The only other project to pull that off was another game project, Double Fine Adventure. The funding hasn’t stopped just with these broken records either. It has already surpassed $4 million dollars with over 30,000 backers, and it shows no sign of stopping. With this kind of backing in less than two days, this console and what it plans to do with the games industry will be tough to ignore.
The overall impact the OUYA will have on the games industry is still very much up in the air. However, we do know it has become an overnight success in the minds of both developers and gamers alike. People who are very much willing to part with their money for the promise of a major shift in the way we consume games. I know it has made me jump at the chance to get in on the first run.
Filed Under: android, game console, open development
Companies: kickstarter, ouya