Free the Games Fund rules update:

Project Minimum: $10k (We heard you that $50k is too high. We wanted to make sure your games get made, so we lowered the goal. And, we know first-hand, that great games can be made for $20k or sometimes less.)

Match Amount: 100% of your funding goal to a maximum of $250,000. (Meaning we match what you need. If you receive more than you asked for from your backers, GREAT, but this should be a measurement of community interest, not a push for more funding.)

Minimum # of Backers: The intent is for the community to want your game, not a small number of well-resourced supporters. We felt we needed to look at the minimum number of backers to make sure it is in line with the spirit of our program. So, for every $10,000 raised on Kickstarter, you have to have a minimum of 100 backers.

Exclusivity: 1 month for every $10k funded by OUYA up to 6 months. So, if you set a goal for $20k and you meet your goal, your game would be exclusive for 2 months. If your goal is for $70k, and you meet your goal, your game will be exclusive for 6 months. Lastly, we think it’s OK if you develop a PC version of your game. We want your game on the TV, but we also want your audience to grow. So, if you want to build a PC version at the same time, go for it.

Timing:

  • 50% of the funding provided to you at functioning beta (You know, to make sure it’s a real project. ;) Bawb can’t wait to play!
  • 25% at launch on OUYA (You go live, you get rewarded!)
  • 25% at end of exclusivity period (Congrats!)

Bonus: Gone. (Again, you suggested this, and we agree it just didn’t feel right. We think this will support the nature of the fund–to make great games.) We’re going to use this money to fund games the old fashioned way–working with you one-on-one.

Fine Print: It’s no longer just fine print to us. You need to play by the spirit of the fund as much as the rules. We can’t account for every loophole. So, if we, or our community, feel you are gaming the system, we will review your project (and consult with our developer friends for their advice) and determine whether to fund it or not.

If you feel we are still missing the mark, let’s talk–[email protected], @juhrman on Twitter, and live at the XOXO conference this weekend in Portland.

We’re learning from everything we create and, TOGETHER WITH YOUR HELP, we’re getting better every day.

Julie

Julie

Julie

The Head Honcho

  • Steven Hoskins

    A massive step in the right direction. These new rules seem much more fair and in the spirit of the fund.

    • Julie Uhrman

      :)

  • Peter

    Thanks for listening to the community. You’re doing the right thing by amending the FTG Fund rules

  • Lewie Procter

    Can you please confirm that you’re not giving MogoTXT the money?

    • Julie Uhrman

      They pulled themselves from the program bc of their KS success. The money will be used to fund other games.

      • Lewie Procter

        You stated an intent to work with them again in the future. Could you elaborate? It’s pretty clear that they are being disingenuous at best, massively dishonest at worst. It would be reassuring to know that you have no plans to give them any money in the future.

        • MABManZ

          There’s no reason for this, if Ouya wants to directly funds projects that is their own business. Gridiron’s funding has no effect on the FTGF even if they do and it hurts no one.

          • Lewie Procter

            Yes, of course this is entirely up to Ouya, I am just interested in hearing their plans, as I’m sure many potential Ouya customers will be.

          • Gale Wind

            They have stated that they don’t need the FTGF money — either the game is NOT a scam (I pulled my own funding in fear that it was) or they’re trying to make good for the future. Regardless, if the game they release is fun, I’d buy it and not regret it.

  • ZepFan

    THANK YOU JULIE! I know it’s hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake but you just did and you deserve credit for that. Just remember; we wouldn’t criticize if we didn’t care and we love you even if it means “tough love” on occasion.

  • http://henk.ca henkboom

    This is great news!

  • Mighty Rabbit Studios

    This is incredible news and I’m really glad to hear you guys are adjusting the terms. Thanks Julie! Can’t wait to see what games this will bring to the platform.

  • Julie Uhrman

    Thank you all — it’s better because you cared enough to tell us how. And you yelled from the mountain tops. Thank you.

  • http://www.dreamfeel.net/ Paul Andrew McGee

    This is really exciting, I hope it’s a great success. :3

  • wespaugh

    Thank you! I believe Ouya will get some really great games out of the new fund terms now. Thank you for hearing the community out and addressing our concerns.

  • Jay Griffin

    Much, much better. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the little guys, I think this should definitely bring a lot more cool new games to the system.

  • Grant Moore

    Thanks for addressing this head-on. I’m even more excited to go forward with my project now, several of these rules will significantly lower the barrier to achieving my goal. Thank you!

  • ★ Sophie Houlden

    I know I’ve said it privately, but I’ll say it here too; thank you for listening.

    I wouldn’t say that the fund is now perfect, but it is a *really* big step in the right direction, and I expect/hope a lot of indies will go for it as it looks like it can really help now. I want them to be able to afford to do that, and I want to play their games too.

    If you can keep this up, keep listening to concerns of gamers and developers, I think it will be super promising for the console. My faith has certainly gone a long way to being restored. I’ll be keeping an eye on things for a while and hopefully I can find myself being comfortable bringing my game back to the console, and I might even consider giving the fund a go myself.

    • http://www.youtube.com/pixelfreakgames Pixel Freak

      I can’t help but think you were (possibly one of a small amount) of catalysts in this change.

      Good on you, and good on Ouya for sucking it up with a little humility and fixing the program.

    • Julie Uhrman

      This is the best news ever! And promise me when you see us slipping to the dark side, you’ll let me know. :)

      (I miss Rose and Time)

      • ★ Sophie Houlden

        well I’m a loud-mouth. so you’ll always know what I think :p

  • R.

    So does this mean you won’t actually be giving MogoTXT their money once the public attention goes away? Nobody voluntarily walks away from that much free money.

    • Will

      I bet it was under pressure, but they appear to be walking.

      “Hi Everyone!

      After considering the generous support we received from our donors and speaking with our friends at OUYA, we have decided to withdraw our entry into OUYA’s Free The Games Fund. We now have sufficient resources to complete Gridiron Thunder without requesting matching funds from OUYA.

      We feel that too much of the focus lately has been on our Kickstarter campaign instead of on our game. Our hope is that people will now focus more on the game we are about to launch and that we are very excited about.

      We are pleased that our decision will mean that there will be more money for other developers who otherwise may not be able to develop games. We hope to see some really great games come out of the Free The Games Fund.”

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1997247042/gridiron-thunder-awesome-indie-football-game-for-o/posts/603102

    • 209670938609387

      Apparently they can and did. But that fixed the problem: no free money to grill them about, and the “bloated funding” is theirs to develop on (and the risk belongs to the backers… feels suspicious? Don’t donate.)

  • Burningpet

    Just cancel this whole thing and invest the 1M directly in devs. we will value you higher, that’s for sure.

    • R.

      That would actually be a sound decision, yes. There have been reports that they were set to do this with MogoTXT before someone went crazy with a poorly thought out PR campaign. It would certainly explain why they defended such an obvious scam so hard.

    • Will

      I would love to see that. Take the 1M and give 5k to the top 200 developers, and 10 k a piece extra for the top ten or something – based on the O-Rank. You already know exactly how much traffic a title pulls in, use that.

      But this is MUCH better than what WAS happening. So I won’t hate.

    • dovyski

      I’m really sorry if my comment looks harsh, but I could not keep reading suggestions like that and remain quiet. Why, WHY are people suggesting such a thing?

      Until Ouya, nobody thought about asking any company for money. Nobody said “Hey Google, you have 1M, fund the top 200 gamedevs on Android!”, or “Hey, you developed Minecraft and earned a lot of money; use 1M to fund some gamedevs”.

      Come one, guys! Indie gamedevs can do a lot better than keep whining for Ouya’s money.

      • http://www.townsgame.com/ Burningpet

        No worries, your comment isn’t harsh. (however, tweeting about me talking a load of crap IS)

        First of all, lets make a clear distinction between Ouya and Mojang. two completely different things. Notch does not need to push forward a console so he has no reason to just go and fund other devs. (Although, Mojang does publish a limited number of titles)

        Google invest hundreds of millions in other teams, including game studios for developing and porting their games to android.

        The correct and most accurate comparison would be between Ouya and the big three console makers, that is, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. when it comes down to those three, we are not talking about a sum of 1M that they have in acquiring exclusivity rights, we are talking budgets probably as high as 50M and even more. Do you honestly think all those exclusives, even timed exclusives game, are doing it out of their own good faith? obviously not! they are doing it for the big bucks those companies are offering them. do you think the big three are doing it because they like those games enough to simply fund them out of good will? nope. they are doing it because they know that what drives their numbers up is content. exclusive content that can’t be found elsewhere.

        Since Ouya is no different than those big 3 and needs content to drive sales, we know this Fund is not done out of good will, but out of the old, tried and tested traditional business strategy of acquiring exclusives (Or simply as a failed PR campaign). so, now that we have established that it is in fact Ouya that needs the devs right now, and not the other way around (Ouya numbers are just too low), i can’t see a good reason in putting arbitrary restrictions between Ouya and the devs. especially ones that are so brutally open to being abused by scammers and quick profit makers on one hand, and so needlessly restricting and limiting on the other.

        • dovyski

          Oh, I’m sorry about that. The tweet was meant to be about the whole thing (and my thoughts), not your comment alone. Anyway I removed it, just to make it clear.

          I see your point. All the big players spend a lot of money investing on games for their platforms, because as you said, content is key. However until recently, nobody cared about indie gamedevs. We had to struggle to make something through (I mentioned Mojang because they are indie ang got through).

          If I were Julie and I wanted to quickly fund indie games, I would have created a plan involving Kickstarter as well. Why? They need to validate game ideas and check if people will like it *before* they fund anything (Valve does it with Greenlight). Ouya was born as an indie console, something more open and accessible, a public funding action by them seems right.

          What I don’t get is why everybody is saying this is bad. Ouya is not restricting and limiting on the other, they are just focusing on games that stand out. If one is working on a great game, just drop the Ouya team a message. If they like the game, they will talk and suggest some deal (pretty much what happens with Google, Sony, Nintendo, etc).

          I think the only wrong thing they did wrong with this whole campaign was not considering the number of backers as a constraint from the beginning.

  • Need More Loot

    Thank you Julie & Team for listening and genuinely considering trying my hand at the fund too, as i’m sure many more are now those rules have changed. Hope the change brings positive results, happy indies and lots more OUYA gamers!

  • nikescar

    Thank you very much for this turn around. I hope this is the start of a new, on-course Ouya.

  • pooh flinging monkey

    Wow, this is awesome to hear. Onward and upward Ouyaaaaaa!!

  • Vcoleiro1

    Ouya have copped a lot of flack lately , so it’s only fair that with this they should be praised. They listened to the community and implemented changes that some members had suggested.

    Well done Ouya

  • Vcoleiro1

    Julie, on the forums, a Developer mentioned that they couldn’t participate in the FTGF because Kickstarter was limited to just US and Canadian’s.

    He raises a valid issue, currently Devs in most parts of the world cannot participate in the FTGF.

    Is it possible to expand the fund to include Indiegogo?

  • Gale Wind

    THIS. DO THIS MORE. Please, keep your fans in the loop MORE in ways like this. I know you don’t personally have the time to make many videos — but SOMEONE can do it — UPDATE us on what is going on and coming down the pipe — RESTORE SOME HOPE for us. I LOVE this system, but I fear the worst for it — it’s up to YOU as a company to bring back faith to your user base. This video is a start. NOW BUILD ON IT. Open up more. Reading the twitter/fb feeds, I get the charlie brown teacher in my head when I see nothing but game advertisements — too much fluff and no stuff = tune out and get bored. Hardware/software revisions? new features coming? fixes coming? Tease us! Make us excited!

    Work hard so we want to play hard ;)

  • Jacob A Chapman

    Much more solid planning! Now give us expanded memory via USB?

  • Marcelo Goulart

    Thank you Julie!!!!!

  • Akbar Bitcoins

    Oh yes, let’s praise them because they had a dumb idea, but now they have an idea that is SLIGHTLY less dumb on their already dead console. oh yes

    Just give the money to fund development why are you doing this the ridiculous way.

    • John Brown

      They essentially are doing that. Kickstarter is just a way to gauge and increase interest in the project from the gamers themselves. Ouya can’t risk just handing money over to a team that may or may not deliver, so it’s good they changed the policy to only give the first 50% at a functioning beta.

    • 209670938609387

      Sounds like you don’t use the console in the first place. Why are you here?

  • Austin Lee

    Well said Julie!

  • http://www.webdesignis.me/ Cory Bateman

    Awesome news! Keep it up!

  • Hogwild333

    I don’t have an Ouya yet, but I’ve been closely tracking everything going on. I think the new FTG fund will bring a much larger number of interesting games to the Ouya so it greatly increases the chances of me getting your console. I was starting to wonder if you guys were listening to your fans and I have a much better feeling now.

  • matt lawson

    I’m still not really happy with the verbiage that “great games can be made for $20k or sometimes less”. Only sometimes? Otherwise though this is very encouraging. This post stopped me from putting my Ouya back in its box and putting it in a closet.

  • Jack

    When’s the current deadline for the FTG fund? Or is this ongoing?
    My game will be ready for Kickstarter in a few months, and this promotion is looking good and honest now. I’m interested! =)

    • SLotman

      Accordingly to their website, Aug 10, 2014 is the deadline for the campaign.

  • willpowered

    So we can release a PC version of the game during the exclusivity period? Is this correct?
    What about Mac and Linux?

    • Steven Hoskins

      Well PC does not mean Windows. PC technically covers Windows and Linux. Mac is a bit different but I imagine Julie wouldn’t have no problem with all 3 OS but that’s just the way I have interpreted it. Could be wrong. Am sure they would clear that up if you emailed them.

      • willpowered

        That’s why I’m checking- “PC” has different meanings to different people. I would assume Mac and Linux are included as well, but it can’t hurt to double check since they aren’t specifically mentioned.

  • Christoffer Hedborg

    Just let Kellee decide what games to spend that money on. ^____^

  • Hampus Sjöberg

    <3

  • Alessandro Saiko

    AWESOME move! That’s definitely the right direction IMHO. This hopefully wix fix all the concerns which arose lately. Good work and please keep this pace of reaction. Next thing: PLEASE give us finally USB storage and maybe some social features :-)
    Love OUYA since backing it on KS and won’t stop supporting it!

  • GoldenTricycle

    Hey Julie,
    thanks a lot for your honesty. I’m happy you guys were interested in our feedback on this matter and showed the openness in action that we’ve heard so much about. Taking a step towards the community as a whole (including gamers and devs alike) is a good, a necessary and a trust-restoring thing in and of itself, regardless of the details of the FTG fund.
    Which are -by the way- MUCH better than before! I now feel that the “spirit of the FTGF” is aligning with the rules that apply. I’m looking forward to seeing developers being enabled to putting their ideas into finished projects because of this fund!

    Keep on listening, keep up the honesty and forever ditch the dodgy PR strategy talk from before. We like you so much more this way.

    Cheers,
    Felix (Goldentricycle/ CLARK)

  • RFM42

    Why did you mention “Killing Floor”?? That game is in release. Allegedly sold 1m copies.

  • Jan Jirkovsky

    Hi,

    The current version is MUCH better than the previous!

    We are thinking of taking part, just a few questions:

    1) Is the program OK for launching on British kickstarter (British Pounds instead of US Dollars)? We are a Czech-British company and thus British kickstarter is our only way to go.
    [recalculation of currencies should be easy, just making sure whether it does
    not violate your conditions?]

    2) About the exclusivity (Ouya + PC) – does it simply mean “no other consoles or mobile
    devices”? Or does it mean Ouya + Windows only? [what I am pointing to is
    the broad definition of PC – is it Windows+Linux+Mac or would for example Mac
    violate the rules?].

    Thanks for the answer & hopefully this may help both Ouya community as well as the indie gamedev community to grow!).

    Best wishes,
    Jan Jirkovsky

  • 209670938609387

    Wise to revise. Otherwise, Kickstarter may have been painted in a corner to either end outside contests using Kickstarter as a platform, or require approval before having outside contests.

    The Bonus part of the FTG Plan probably would have been better used as a surprise to the developer at the end of the fund for the highest funded project, rather than a brass ring. But hindsight is always perfect, cancelling the Bonus is a good move to take the manipulation away.

  • Steve Bishop

    Thank you for listening Julie. I think we can all agree that none of the “Big 3″ would make such a turn around so fast on a policy simply because of the community outcry.

    I respect that your company is willing to make such a public statement about a faux pas and do what they can to rectify it.

    I hope that this turn around for the FTGF bears the proper fruit now.

  • SLotman

    Why Kickstarter at first place, and not IndieGogo or others that are ‘worldwide’ friendly, instead of US based only?

    • Gigoia Studios

      fala Slot. blz ? boa colocação. acredito q futuramente talvez haverá mais opções de crowdfunding. Kickstarter acabou sendo o principal mesmo, por enquanto.
      tb tenho interesse em desenvolver pro console futuramente.. abraço

  • Mauricio Piacentini

    One welcome addition would be to support indiegogo as well, so developers in other countries could also apply. As you know, Kickstarter can not be used by US-based developers. This simple move would quickly multiply the pool of developers able to apply for FTG.

  • Grant Moore

    OUYA Team / Julie, I have a question regarding the exclusivity & matching rule!

    Let’s presume I budget the development costs for my game and create a campaign with a goal of some increment of $10,000. If by some stroke of great fortune gamers love my concept and it goes well over the target goal, would the number of months of exclusivity be calculated against the total amount raised & matched, or the original campaign target goal? It’s probably an unlikely scenario but I just want to clarify so I can prepare my campaign appropriately. Thank You!

  • abeebe38

    I actually had to post a comment after reading this (I NEVER post on ANYTHING). I came to find the Ouya right before it’s retail release, so unfortunately I wasn’t involved with the kickstarter, but promptly went out and pre-ordered one from a local store. It’s genuinely been one of the best purchases I’ve made, especially in terms of games in a long time. After reading up on this whole Free The Games Fund controversy, I was really hoping to see the Ouya team handle it in a constructive way that maintained the spirit of the campaign, but ultimately fixed some areas which didn’t quite hit their mark. I think more than anything, the best thing Ouya can do is keep an open relationship with the community. If you realize something is wrong, address it promptly. You don’t have to have the answers right there, but addressing it and telling us that you’re actively thinking about it is a really great way to let everyone into the world of the Ouya team. I feel like we ALL want to feel involved in a more personal way with the console. This is one of your strengths Ouya, and I truly believe that solidifying your identity is going to be one of the biggest hurdles (even now) but ultimately play to your advantage solely. I will continue supporting no matter what, because Ouya has given me back what I lost a while ago, I real passion for video games :)

    • http://thenewyawker.darkbb.com/ Congslop

      Word.

  • SLotman

    Do you actually needs an OUYA before starting the Kickstarter campaign?

  • http://thenewyawker.darkbb.com/ Congslop

    Julie continues to impress me. No company is perfect, but Ouya will actually fess up to it and listen to the people. They have a great product, learn from their mistakes, and don’t talk down to consumers. Breath of fresh air :)

    • Daryl Victoriano

      Microsoft just did that,with their complete reversal on there always online and used games policies… which I praise a lot more since they are a multi-billion dollar company that honestly didn’t have to listen to anybody, but did.

      • http://thenewyawker.darkbb.com/ Congslop

        Yeah that was pretty cool too!

  • http://speedgraphx.wordpress.com/ Danjel Ricci

    This has been a good step in the right direction until the “Kickstarter-only” came into play, then the good step turned in a bad tumble. I’m extremely convinced this FTGF campaign should apply to all crowfunding portals. It’s too strict right by now, this is cutting away A LOT of indie developers. I don’t remember OUYA being sold in UK and USA only, right?

  • SpookyFish Games

    A massive improvement to the fund, and kudos to Ouya for making such a big change. Personally I don’t think they’ve changed enough, but any change is a good sign that they’re listening to peoples concerns.

    I think the project minimum should probably be even lower ($2.5k-$5k range), and maybe set the maximum at about $25K. IMO the $100K maximum still has one of the fundamental problems of the funds original layout, i.e. if you’ve got a game that’s got enough interest to raise $100K on KickStarter then you really don’t need the extra help from a fund like this. Whereas doubling the money of a small independent whose raised $5k could make the difference between a game being developed, or not.

    Hopefully Ouya will continue to tweak the formula until they get it spot on, but for now the changes should at least weed out the scammers that seemed to be targeting the fund.

  • ufg

    Julie Uhrman is fantastic at these speeches. It actually made me happy just listening to it. It was sort of rousing, in an odd way.