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Ouya is officially launching its Free The Games Fund to help indie developers — and Ouya itself.
Free The Games Fund is a $1 million investment campaign run by Ouya, the company that makes the Android microconsole of the same name. Ouya plans to give that money away to successfully funded developers on the Kickstarter crowdfunding site. If a project meets Ouya’s requirements, the console manufacturer will double the amount that a developer raised from crowdfunding — up to $250,000.
Ouya has just a couple of requirements. Indies need to go to freethegamesfund.com and register their project to get approval. Once approved, they need to raise at least $50,000 on Kickstarter and meet their funding goal, and Ouya will double whatever amount they raise (up to $250,000).
Oh, and the developers have to promise the Kickstarter game is exclusive to Ouya for at least six months. The console maker will then pay out 25 percent of the money when the campaign ends, 50 percent when the game launches on Ouya, and the last 25 percent when the six-month exclusivity ends.
Ouya began on Kickstarter. The project raised $8.6 million in 2012. The company wants to turn back to that platform to boost its game offerings.
The console launched in June to mixed reviews and reports that its developers are struggling to make money on the system. It’s still early, and Ouya is betting that it can still build a lucrative business with initiatives like Free The Games.
Time is running short. Sony and Microsoft are nearing the launch of their next-gen systems. Both of those will hog much of the spotlight for the holiday season. Additionally, rumors suggest both Google and Amazon are considering Ouya like devices. Both of those tech powerhouses have the resources to bury Ouya.