Ouya founder Julie Uhrman says the Free the Games Fund will not be suspended or altered, following suspicious Kickstarter campaigns for the first two titles to qualify for the funding.
“Recently, the intention behind our Free the Games Fund – to provide funding to crowdfunded games bound for Ouya and enable developers to make more of them – seems to have been lost,” Uhrman wrote on Ouya’s website, in part. “This response surprised us – we thought this was going to be great – how could it not be?”
The Free the Games Fund was launched in July by Ouya and it saw the firm set aside $1 million, offering to match Kickstarter funding of up to $250,000 per project for games that pledged to remain exclusive to Ouya for six months. The first two games to qualify for the funding, Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes, had their legitimacy questioned as they both received large donations from first time Kickstarter accounts. Elementary, My Dear Holmes Kickstarter was recently suspended, but its developer is seeking private equity to complete the project.
“In launching this campaign, we’ve been called everything from naive and foolish to crazy and idealistic,” Uhrman added. “This is not the first time we’ve been called any of that. Maybe we’re naive … and yes we’re definitely idealistic. It’s gotten us this far. We believe (still) that great games from great developers can be discovered this way – by you.”
Uhrman also wrote on Twitter: “No we are not changing the Free The Games Fund. We are sticking with it.”