Razer that creates laptops and other gaming hardware is speculated to be in the process of acquiring Ouya, the Android console manufacturer backed by Kickstarter. While these details are yet to be confirmed, the acquisition is claimed to bring an end to the talks regarding the first mover in the market of the set-top gaming consoles outside the traditional power players.
Ouya was one among the most successful projects of Kickstarter and it has raised around $8.6 million before receiving $15 million from the investors such as Mayfield Fund and Kleiner Perkins.
The project was initially sought to raise around $1 million, but it blew the goal that was set for the first day on Kickstarter. Ouya provided the developers a way to create games that were tuned specifically for the television experience. In the past several months, Ouya has held several conversations with over a dozen companies to seek a potential fit.
Julie Uhrman, Co-Founder, a long time video game executive with over a decade of experience in the industry told in an interview that the initial success of the Ouya campaign by Kickstarter attracted quick interest from the independent developers. The open hardware too interested the curiosity of the developers.
This time last year, the firm has around 36,000 registered developers. It joined the likes of one of the original creators of Flower, Kellee Santiago to help building its developer ecosystem.
Earlier this year, the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba invested $10 million in Ouya to find a way into the Chinese gaming console market. After this deal, it was said that Ouya was valued between $60 million and $80 million. Alibaba has its own top Android devices and at that time, the firm expressed interest in bringing the games to those devices in its portfolio.
As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, it became clear that Ouya was equally valuable as the game development platform as it was a hardware manufacturer. As it is the first of its kind maker, there was an array of challenges that the firm hard to predict. Despite creating a large independent developer ecosystem, the firm faced the challenge of broad adoption in the highly competitive Android market with new comers such as Google and Amazon.
Generally, it is tough to be involved in the hardware business. The console designed by Yves Behar and during the process of fund raising, Ouya considered an updated version of this console. It is a major and quite an expensive challenge to build hardware and a capable supply chain for the startups that have to deal with delay and extensive negotiating process.