Ouya is up for sale. And Razer, the gaming peripheral maker with a microconsole of its own on the horizon, is in advanced talks to purchase the company for something in the $10 million range, GamesBeat has learned from a reliable source.
Debt holders triggered the sale, the source told us, and it would cost somewhere around $10 million to buy out those debt holders. Razer sent a statement to GamesBeat earlier this morning that threw its support behind Ouya but didn’t verify or deny that the company — which is preparing to launch its own Forge microconsole — was in pursuit of the struggling platform-holder, as TechCrunch reported this morning.
Ouya’s platform is obviously attractive to Razer — it has a store for more than 1,124 Android games, including numerous exclusives. Adding these to its Forge would help Razer stand out against other microconsoles, such as Amazon’s Fire and Nvidia’s recently announced Shield set-top box. More than 40,000 developers have used Ouya’s development platform.
“Razer has always been supportive of Ouya, in particular, their work toward building an open platform for Android gaming in the living room and the empowerment of developers, especially indie developers, all over the world,” a company spokesperson said. “However, we do not comment on speculation or rumors and will reach out if and when we have substantive information to share.”
Ouya isn’t commenting so far as well.
Roy Bahat, the chairman of Ouya, recently wrote a nice tribute to Ouya’s CEO and founder, Julie Uhrman, about how hard she worked on her dream to create an alternative console for fun, independent games running on a tiny living room console based on Google’s Android operating system.
To fund that dream, she was able to orchestrate one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising around $8.6 million via the crowdfunding platform in 2012. And she raised a $15 million round from investors Kleiner Perkins and Mayfield Fund, and more recently, she secured $10 million from Alibaba.
Uhrman hoped to disrupt what was an aging console market, but the new consoles launched in 2013, and Ouya’s machine, dubbed “The People’s Console,” never got much traction. The company pivoted to focus on its software interface and collection of games.
But Ouya’s promise is still just that. And with Razer and possibly others interested in Ouya, one thing is clear: Gamers may not want the Android microconsole, but others continue to see value in its platform.
GamesBeat managing editor Jason Wilson and senior editor Dale North contributed to this report.