In July Ouya launched an initiative called “Free the Games Fund” in which the firm set aside $1 million, offering to match Kickstarter funding of up to $250,000 per project for games that pledge to remain exclusive to the Ouya console for six months. So far 40 games have signed up, and 11 of those currently have live crowd-funding campaigns.
Ouya announced in a press release today that two games have met their targets and qualify for funding. Elementary, My Dear Holmes reached its $50,000 goal with 17 days remaining, and Gridiron Thunder has raised $75,000 with 13 days left.
However, a NeoGAF thread has now begun to question the legitimacy of Gridiron Thunder‘s campaign citing a number of suspicious aspects. First, 126 backers have pledged a total of $78,259 averaging over $600 each. Also, a large number of backers did not request any rewards for their pledges. A significant amount of the backers also seem to have created accounts only to back this project, these accounts include several instances of duplicate names, celebrity avatars, and shared surnames including that of MogoTXT CEO Andrew Won.
In a statement to Gamasutra, Andrew Won has responded to the situation.
“We are not trying to do something improper with Ouya’s Free the Games promotion, and we are in full compliance with both KickStarter’s and Ouya’s rules,” Won said, in part.
“We have had some generous donors but so have other KickStarter campaigns. In our case, we have very deep roots in Silicon Valley and great ties to fellow tech entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. We also have friends in the professional sports world who want to see us succeed. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having generous supporters, and we make no apology for this. It does not violate any KickStarter or Ouya rule.”