Razer buys OUYA, scraps hardware division

In 2012, a brand new platform popped up, promising to be the Next Big Thing for video games. Now, it seems the OUYA is dead in the water, with the company snapped up by Razer, who wants nothing to do with the hardware side of things.

Ouya - the console

Ouya – the console

OUYA was quickly funded via Kickstarter, raising more than US$8,596,000 across 30 days.

At the time, fans expected it to be a literal game-changer, a new, affordable console that would run Android games on your TV. However, despite the initial fanfare, OUYA stumbled out of the blocks, with a troubled launch, and enthusiasm quickly waned.

Now, just three years later, “the little console that could” is no more. Hardware giant Razer has acquired the company (including staff working in developer relations and in the technical team), announcing plans to do away with the console itself and focus instead on its software assets, including the online retail platform and content catalogue. Razer does have plans to publish Android TV content and Android-based TV console games under the OUYA brand, as something completely different.

…and if you’re wondering just how much this set them back, you’ll be wondering for a while. Financial details of the deal, which closed on June 12 of this year, are being kept under wraps.

Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and chief gamer, explains that it’s all part of the company’s master plan:

Razer has a long-term vision for Android TV and Android-based TV consoles, such as the Xiaomi Mi Box and Alibaba Tmall Box, to which OUYA already publishes. OUYA’s work with game developers, both triple A and indies, went a long way in bringing Android games to the living room and Razer intends to further that work. This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform.

If you have an OUYA, Razer is working out just how to help you bring your games, controllers and accounts onto the more-advanced Forge TV micro-console and Cortex TV platform – complete with “deep product discounts” when it comes to buying new hardware.

OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman is stepping away from the company she helped create, pouring her emotions onto Twitter:

Razer is the perfect home for OUYA and the team that made it all happen. They can take the OUYA platform to new places, inspiring developers and embracing gamers, everywhere.

So, my friends, adjust your plans: OUYA as we know it is no more. Forge TV is now the way of the future.

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