In the coming weeks, we’re going to let devs choose if they want to charge up front for their games. Now they’ll be able to choose between a free-to-try or paid model.

When we started OUYA, we originally decided against this. Free to Try seemed like an obvious choice for an open platform. We knew it appealed to gamers, but it turned out many devs had trouble meeting the requirement, didn’t want to make a demo, or weren’t sure how to monetize their game.

One of OUYA’s driving values has always been empowering devs.

We provide devs with a streamlined path to the TV. We facilitate an open Dev-to-OUYA community. We operate a super-tolerant submission-review process. We support an ever-expanding suite of middleware. We do all of these things in support of devs — to help them get their games to gamers.

So we found ourselves weighing one good thing against another. Do we support the awesome feeling of getting to try anything before you buy it, or do we make the pathway to publishing on the TV even easier for devs? It was a difficult choice.

We didn’t come to this decision unilaterally. Devs have been asking us for this choice for more than a year.

We kept hearing the same things:

· It’s about choice. Give devs the freedom to choose. That’s openness.
· It doesn’t make sense, creatively, to put a demo in my game.
· Implementing demo content is not within our studio’s budget.
· I don’t really know how to implement a good demo.

All these things convinced us.

Giving devs the freedom to choose gives our gamers access to the best games available. We’re clearing another roadblock in the pathway to publishing on the TV, and that means more great games will make it to OUYA.

Bob (BAWB) Mills
Games Guy, OUYA
@bawbmills
bob[at]ouya.tv

Bawb

Bawb

The Games Guy

  • Jeff Chevalier

    -It’s about choice to let people buy with eyes closed a game they potentially don’t like.
    -It doesn’t make sense, as it was an Ouya’s principle, not to have at least a demo of any game.
    -Purchasing blindly is not within my wallet’s principles
    -Not even a level to try?

    • Julie Uhrman

      It’s going to be up to the developer. We’ve limited your access to great content and developers. By allowing. Their games you can choose to play their games. We feel the benefit will be there.

      • Jeff Chevalier

        Benefit for whom?

      • David S Price

        For devs who don’t want to create their own version of a free demo, what about a platform default time-limited-demo?

        Just give me 10 minutes of demo time… the download and try is a part of the OUYA Brand. It’s an addictingly fun part of the experience. I don’t want to rely on other people’s reviews — don’t devs realize they’ll be handing themselves over to a popularity contest amongst reviewers?

  • Jon_TWR

    This is a terrible idea, and goes against one of the founding principles of OUYA.

    If a dev is too overwhelmed to make a demo, then they shouldn’t be publishing their game…it’s really that simple. I will not be buying any games that don’t have a free to try component, and at this point I’m seriously considering if I want to spend any more money on OUYA at all.

    I mean, if they’re willing to betray their key founding principle (despite the fact that OUYA users purchase games at a MUCH higher rate than users on ANY other app store…be it iOS, Android or Windows Phone), why should I have any faith left in them at all?

    OUYA, this is the WRONG decision.

    • Julie Uhrman

      Because will bring the platform more games and more developers. Great content will find their audience whether it’s free or not.

      • Jon_TWR

        I’m not asking for free games, I’m asking for free demos that allow me the opportuinity to try before I buy, and I find it hard to believe that we’re missing out on great, unique content because it’s too hard/expensive/whatever for a dev to make a demo.

        You’ve now burned the last of OUYA’s trust capital with its long term fans. Remember, “all games will always be free to try”? I guess to you, “all” means some and “always” means less than a year.

        I suppose, given OUYA’s record of broken promises and missteps I shouldn’t be surprised. This is how the revolution dies, not with a bang but with a whimper.

        • http://www.zerinsakech.com/ Zerin Sakech

          It’s developers who asked for this. You should be angry at them since now those who didn’t put a game on the Ouya because of technical or monetary reasons will now be able to. More games is a good thing, even if you can’t try them there’s always YouTube and reviews. In order to a platform to survive in today’s world it has to adapt to the market’s needs, even if it means going back and rethinking the plan.

          • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

            “It’s developers who asked for this.”

            This makes it sound like ALL developers demanded this, but I’ve seen fairly active argument among developers and players alike over this, so it’s not nearly so clear cut as this sort of statement makes it sound.

      • primalxconvoy

        If only yourconsole hardware worked properly. I’ve still yet to see even half of the great games Google PLay has. Excus ethe typos, but Im using my Ouya to to access this site, but due to the limited memory that your crudtacular system has, the site and text update on the screen is painfully slow. Who in their right mind would put 8 gigs as memory? That’s right, you would, Julie.

  • Eric Blackburn

    As a Dev (decent one I feel) can I know who keeps saying those four things? I haven’t met a dev who complains about this yet.
    And Juile if you plan on responding to every negative comment prepare for everyone who reads this to have one. I’m a gamer before a dev, and I am not pleased. No gamer is going to appreciate a safe guard against being tricked into buying a bad game.

    • Julie Uhrman

      I’m ready to respond to everyone and anyone. We believe free to try is best for gamers. We hope developers embrace this. We’re just not forcing them to anymore.

      • Cute Boy Horse

        Hold up Julie. You say one of the reasons is not knowing how to make a good demo.

        If you can’t do a demo, how do you expect to do a full game?

        • Andrew Vrba

          Plenty of great games don’t have demos of any kind.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            and that’s one thing Ouya was supposed to change. And it probably did to a degree. I saw more games offering a demo before purchase on PSN after Ouya came out. PS4 claiming it was more indie friendly than in the past. I can’t see from here the reason for this change of heart on such an important aspect of the Ouya manifesto. I’d love to see more transparency as a part of your openness, Ouya.

          • Andrew Vrba

            The reason for the change of heart, is that Microsoft was very good at courting Indies last gen, and Sony learned from watching them. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if people at Sony are like “Ouya? Is that a kind of sammich?” More PSN demos? Again, taking page from what Microsoft did right last gen.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            the same Microsoft which stepped back from the Big Brother Xbone? Their initial plan was to have 24h check to play and a control over used games, thinking people would say “thank you Big Brother”. Luckily enough people didn’t.
            Plus, Ouya was claimed it wanted to play the sidekick of a big console role. “We don’t compete, you can play your precious <> and then enjoy a little gem on your Ouya”. Furthermore, doing what the bog ones do sounds quite far from the “Another kind of video game console” slogan.

          • Andrew Vrba

            Hence why I emphasized on Last-gen’s Microsoft vs how they’ve painted themselves into a corner today.
            This current gen of consoles holds nothing for me, so I stick to PC and Android gaming.
            Ouya needed to change it’s tune, because the niche market of “AAA games are for posers! Real gamers play only Indy titles!” just wasn’t getting the job done!

          • Jeff Chevalier

            Big games are welcome on Ouya (according to Ouya’s processing power and storage). They just have to offer a demo, to let players know if they really like the game. This is (well was… sigh) the Ouya contract, a sort of insurance for players in which you are not interested but it seems many Ouya owners including both players and developers. If I bought everything I tried and didn’t like I were broke now.

          • Andrew Vrba

            All I hear is excuse after excuse from you.
            Ouya will do well to leave so-called customers like you in the dust.

          • Guest

            Here’s another excuse. Excuse me if I use my brain. Now go buy games, maybe a Barbie game sold as a badass FPS. You deserve it.

          • Andrew Vrba

            I use my brain too, but I don’t NEED a free-to-play option to make an educated buying decision.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            There are so many consoles to do so, why bother about Ouya? Anyway I bought games on Ouya, I could have bought the same games on other platforms but I chose to foster their market. Feel free not to look at the demos and gamble about your purchases, let the people be free to judge with *their* eyes, brain and controllers before putting their hands in their wallet.

          • Andrew Vrba

            At this point, there’s nothing you can say to me that WON’T convince me that you’re just upset that you’re being denied a freebie.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            There’s no worse deaf than the one who doesn’t want to listen.

        • Grant Moore

          Making a good demo which both shows off the game in a good light and compels someone to then purchase it is far more difficult than just focusing on the game itself. I see your point in that a good game should stand up with a small slice, but it’s trickier than just sticking a cut-off point in the game and calling it a day. The mindset of a person playing a demo is that of potential rejection, whereas playing after a full purchase is that of potential enjoyment. Both cases require a different approach, even if the game is the same.

          • Cute Boy Horse

            What you just said contradicts the practice of almost every game developer featured on a Playstation demo disc. Bear in mind which console didn’t flounder horribly.

          • Grant Moore

            Playstation doesn’t force all of their content creators to have a demo. They volunteer. I don’t understand the point you are making, care to elaborate?

      • primalxconvoy

        You know what? Since you pulled your little stunt, I have now bought more games! I bought them on Google Play instead of Ouya because I had more faith in the hardware working and there was a 15 minute refund policy. More demos, too. I mainly use your system for emulators, sideloaded andoid games and xbmc these days and that is all thanks to you! Thanks fo pushing me away as a customer! I have done my best to tell all of my friends who ever ask about my Ouya just how bad and anti consumer it really is. Then they shrug and go back to their iphones, ps3′s and andoid devices for their games. Well done!

    • st33d

      I’ll complain.

      Making a demo completely screws the narrative and pace of the game. You have to design the experience around the cliffhanger of the end of the demo.

      If your game suits a demo, if you have that moment that suits as a drive to pay for the game – great. Do a demo.

      Not great if you have to butcher the game to squeeze in a demo. And does that demo help? In most cases no – people who want to play demos don’t buy games. The demo gives them a taste of the game and that’s enough, there’s no commitment or reason to support the developer.

      A demo is not going to be the same as the game – it can’t be. It has to be pure marketing. Which isn’t right for most games – most of us want to create a complete experience that isn’t trying to screw you out of money from the word go. We want to leave the issue of payment behind from the start. This is the game, no more payments, no tricks, no shennanigans – just entertainment.

      A demo is not entertainment. It’s an advert.

      I don’t want to make adverts – and neither do many other developers.

      • Jeff Chevalier

        But how am I supposed to know how your game feels like without trying it? A fancy and catchy title? You have to make some sort of advertisement. If I open a business of any kind and nobody knows about it I am not going to sell a thing. Plus, the “all the games are free to try” sounded like a verbal contract to me. I know it probably has no legal value but still I feel a little frauded.

        • st33d

          A demo is not a de facto requirement for every game. Aside from reviews and word of mouth, many products are bought on faith alone.

          However you’re right to feel defrauded, you were sold something on a premise and that premise has been revoked. That’s a valid issue.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            If I can suggest you st33d, try the unofficial forum. Both players and developers could help you. They are probably at least a little upset at the moment :p but nevertheless I can assure you you’ll find help and probably solutions.
            http://ouyaforum.com/forum.php

          • st33d

            I’m cool. I don’t have an Ouya. I just have an opinion on demos. They’re a really nice thing to do, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense when it comes to selling ALL games. You don’t watch the first half hour of a film and then decide whether you pay to see the rest. If the film had some amazing cliffhanger at that point, then sure – that would make a lot of sense. But you can’t apply that to every film. You can’t apply that to every game either.

            This decision actually makes port to Ouya more inviting. It just doesn’t look great from an owner’s point of view.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            Thank you for a constructive reply.
            The film is visual and not interactive so it follow different rules. I think the demo as the trailer for a film. Sure some trailer fit films better than others, some are deceiving, others are delusional and so on… The problem that arose among Ouya owners (and the forum crowd) is that’s a way to foster big bad companies misbehaviors which the forced demo seemed to prevent, and it was a way for Ouya to stand out since it lacks the horse power to compete with them.
            Ouya at the beginning aimed at the gamers who needed some fresh air which the industry doesn’t seem to offer anymore with their spinoffs of sequels and sequels of spinoff: this seems also like a change of target, aiming now at the classic gamer since he or she pays more, more often and probably blindly.

            Another cool thing about the Ouya is that diminished the gap between developers and players, since most of the time they are both. The forum in this helps as well, since many devs post about their games and people can discuss about them.
            Now, this developers who complained so much about this demo thing, are mostly indie guys who stayed in the shadow because they didn’t know how to promote their games through a demo and sent Julie to put her face for them, or were big fish who didn’t want to come down from Mount Olympus and bullied poor little(r) Julie? I’d like to see who they are in any case. And see them putting their face and their reasons in the forum and discuss constructively. I already stated that I can’t see the whole picture from here, at least this could help illuminating the thing a little more. In the bargain they can promote their product for free, so what’s to lose?

        • Andrew Vrba

          Its called a review, and if a game is bad, you can believe me that someone is gonna let the world know about it! You act like a little disappointment is fatal! You gonna let fear of being let down affect all your purchase decisions?
          Back in 1989, I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES, expecting a port of the Arcade game. It wasn’t.I was disappointed. I got over it! Didn’t stop me from buying games.

          • Supammu Aruchaifu

            Disappointed? That was a great game.

      • Grant Moore

        Thank you for this comment, this is exactly why I am against forced demos. I was going to do it when I released my game on the OUYA, but I was constantly worried about how I was going to just force it into my game somehow. Now I can just focus on making the game and before release, evaluate whether a demo is appropriate or not.

      • primalxconvoy

        absolute bollocks. Every game I’ve ever bought for the PS3 had a demo OR was lent to me from a friend before I bought it. Sony and MS seem to think demos are big incntivs to sales and they are right. You sire, are not.

  • PawByte

    IT is a right step in the direction, as demos do kill sales in many cases.

    • Eric Blackburn

      Because we demo it and realize we don’t want the game compared to spending money on a bad game…

      • Andrew Vrba

        I buy games on Google Play all the time. Not once have I been refused a refund for something I thought was absolute crap, or didn’t work quite as advertised, Even when it took longer than the allotted 15 minutes.

      • Karyyk

        Or because a lot of downloaders never buy anything. They play the demo to blow 15 minutes and then move on to other things. That’s not really a judgement against the act as much as it’s just admitting reality (the reality being that no one’s going to make any money off of that). Like it or not, if someone is going to put in the time, effort and money that goes along with developing a game, they should have a say so in how it’s sold, and if a developer believes releasing a paid-for, demo-less game is going to increase their chances of making a living doing what they want to do, then why shouldn’t they have that choice?

    • Jeff Chevalier

      It simply removes from the charts all the copies sold to people who didn’t like the game. Would you buy a car without even start her engine? Or you prefer to pay in advance and find out it’s a bike with a fancy bodywork?

  • http://intergalacticphotographic.com/ Matt Kaiser

    Personally, I like this decision because it is rather annoying to spend the time downloading a game just to find out the free content was tacked on to meet the [previous] requirement. Aka, the free part sucks and to actually experience the game you really just need to pay for it. I would much rather know up front that the developer wants my money and exactly how much of it.

    However, I also very much like the notion of knowing that my money won’t be ill spent on a game. Which is where, given this new pay upfront option, I think you should implement a grace period like the Google Play Store has. I believe the Play policy is up to 15 mins after installation of an app (or perhaps it’s launching it for the first time) you can get a refund on your purchase. It’s something to that effect anyway. That let’s you try it out to make sure it actually works properly on your specific device and see if it’s what you wanted.

    Given that the Ouya currently only has one hardware configuration, the device compatibility isn’t a problem here. But seeing if you like it is. Since some games can take some time to “wind up” (meaning there might be a tutorial or intro levels that aren’t what full fledged game play will feel like) I think a longer grace period should be established. For games that will require payment upfront I think it should be, beginning at the time the user first launches the game, there’s *at least* a 1 hour grace period to decide whether or not a refund is desired. That way users still have the ability to try a game out risk free and developers aren’t forced to implement content they either don’t want to implement or don’t know how to.

  • Eric Blackburn

    Would you mind telling us what game Devs are requesting the removal of this requirement? I would feel a lot better if we got som examples.

  • Dave Gresty

    OK so one of the main principles of the original Ouya bites the dust…all games free to try…blah blah

    There are so many poor to average games on Ouya that devs have no right to refuse this. I understand that demos aren’t feasable in some games…but for the vast majority it wouldn’t be a problem.

    A lack of demos on the main consoles isn’t as big an issue because the games are reviewed everywhere by respected journalists and publications and if you buy a game and hate it you can get a refund.

    Simple….if devs don’t offer a demo they can forget it. They might sell to a few fan boys and that’s about it.

  • ufg

    Shouldn’t there at least be a way to encourage developers to use free to try? Even if it’s something like slightly more money to you than devs for non free-to-try, (although that wouldn’t be ideal) there should be something, right? Something more than customers organically preferring the free to try games?

  • DaveH208

    Hey, the article gives it away right at the start: “One of OUYA’s driving values has always been empowering devs.” they aren’t doing this for gamers. The console is a means for OUYA to (1) sell consoles, and (2) provide devs somewhere to sell apps/games. Shame on me, for believing that OUYA was meant to be a way for gamers to get around the old paradigm. Sigh.

  • Matthew Martino

    You gave a choice to the devs and none to the players now… unfortunately they are the ones that buy the console.

    • Andrew Vrba

      As I understand every console is a devkit, so devs also buy the console too.

      • Matthew Martino

        Thats true it can be a box for devs

    • Karyyk

      The players still have a choice, and that’s not to buy the game. Nobody is going to force them to purchase it. It’s their work. They deserve the right to decide how it’s going to be sold.

  • Andrew Vrba

    Why are y’all so angry about them prioritizing for the developers? As I recall, one of the excuse-er reasons why some of you think Ouya is so great is because it’s a console for developers! Or was that more apologist double-talk?

    • Ben Brocka

      That’s some crazy anti-dev talk going on in the Ouya forums, very disapointing to see. http://ouyaforum.com/showthread.php?10472-OUYA-Moving-Away-from-Required-Free-to-Try

      Many of these people seem to clearly see the devs as the “other” that should suffer for their personal gain. Now, I’ve seen people like this for AAA devs but seeing these people talking about how indie devs should make a demo or die, this just breaks my heart.

      • Andrew Vrba

        I rightfully went off on someone for going on how the lack of demos will somehow make his life worse off. My comment was scrubbed, but it was along the lines of “No, losing your job or getting cancer, THAT makes you worse off! How does not getting a free taste of a game make you worse off?”
        Bunch of entitled brats.

        • Jeff Chevalier

          indeed calling them that way makes you different.

          • Andrew Vrba

            Well, all I’m really hearing is “Gimmie gimmie gimmie! This idea cuts down the number of freebies I’ll get!”

          • Jeff Chevalier

            Then it’s you who sees it as a way to be cheap. I see it as “they are taking away players their insurance!”. No, read the reviews and watch gameplays on YT is not an answer.

          • Andrew Vrba

            Its a good enough answer for most. But most gamers aren’t ruled by fear and/or entitlement the way you are.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            I’m glad I’m not like most gamers. That’s why I bought an Ouya and not any current-gen console as the mass did. It’s not fear, it’s just that the Fry “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!” meme doesn’t apply to me and that’s something I’m proud of.

          • primalxconvoy

            It seems that your views on people sideloading or other ways of protesting when games are not available to them are not shared by the majority, Mr Vrba. Like I’ve stated at Droidgamers to you, most of us WANT to pay for games. We just don’t want to have to deal with a lack of demo, pay-to-win iap’s, geo-locking and other anti-consumer practices that Ouya and its ilk are guilty of. When that happens, piracy increases.

          • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

            He’s made some mildly distasteful comments throughout this thread, but he’s absolutely right about the importance of games and free demos when placed against the backdrop of “the Big Picture”. I disagree with his clearly wrong-headed attitude that we all must simply want everything for free, as I make it a point to pay for worthy games on Humble Bundle, Steam, IndieGameStand, Desura, and now on Ouya, but where I have a problem with this decision is on a couple simple points:

            1) Ouya DID make a big deal about the free demo model being part of their core “philosophy” and one of the core selling points to set them apart from the other players in the market. Those folk who feel this is a bit of a “bait and switch” are absolutely correct. Same as PlayStation 3 selling on the premise of allowing alternate operating systems, then threatening later to ban you from PSN if you actually USE that capability.

            2) They (Ouya) keeps sending the message to the vocal minority that “if you whine loudly enough then we’ll cave to your demands. (Not just this decision, but it seems that they listen a little too readily to the “naysayers” and “doom and gloom” folk.) Though I admit I DO like that they listened readily about VALID complaints and addressed those complaints with a proper fix (the later iterations of the Ouya controller were much improved over early models for example – Little tweaks, but tweaks that fixed valid complaints folk had about the top buttons being a bit “mushy feeling” for one thing)…

            I genuinely hope they continue to listen to and address genuine valid complaints, but it would be nice if they could maybe not try quite so hard to please EVERYONE, as that’s an impossible mission that will end badly for them I’m sure. There will always be some vocal minority that hates Ouya for no valid reason. Ignore them and focus on your actual customerbase who bought Ouya for what it is. An inexpensive and powerful little gaming and media cube. There’s a lot of us who’re pleased with our purchase and would love to see Ouya continue into the future.

      • Jeff Chevalier

        Perhaps it’s more some AAA publisher that don’t want to offer a try of their titles. It’s them who see the users as “the others”, while many indie devs are on the unofficial forum discussing alongside gamers. I’d like to see these devs making an account and discuss constructively with us there instead of hiding behind Julie’s face.

        • Andrew Vrba

          With people screaming how they should be penalized with a profit gouge for not making a demo, I can see how they wouldn’t wanna log in to give you the time of day.

          • Jeff Chevalier

            Nope, for people claiming to sell something without letting clients see it. Some people expressed different opinion, but they did it constructively and they received constructive answers. You can try again. Hint: not calling them a bunch of entitled brats helps.

          • Andrew Vrba

            The label fits.

          • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

            Jeff’s just pointing out that constructive discussion doesn’t start with petty name-calling. It starts with finding a clear and straightforward way to voice your opinion and back it up with evidence and then being willing to hear another do the same from their point of view.

          • primalxconvoy

            Regardless of my own opinions being correct or not, Mr Vrba has done the same name-calling at Droidgamers’ disqus threads. I hope that it will stop and that more intelligent debate can come from him.

  • João Paulo Longo

    Instead of changing one of the most fundamental features of
    the console, offer something like timed trial natively for developers so they
    do not have to modify or implement anything they do not want. Works perfectly
    on Playstation Plus and I’m sure your team can develop an equivalent solution.

  • Glenn Dobson

    I really don’t understand the hysteria being displayed over this. It’s simply an option now for developers, it not like someone is going to come to your house, put a gun to your head and make you buy their game. If it means more developers are willing to bring their games to the OUYA, I do not see it as a bad thing. You never know, maybe once they have their foot in the door they will change their how they feel about it and choose to add a demo. It’s all on the developer not you.

    Optional: left to one’s choice; not required or mandatory

    • Andrew Vrba

      Ouya owners feel entitled though. Therefore they’re throwing a huge fit.

      • Supammu Aruchaifu

        They feel entitled to a free trial because they were told upon purchase that they would be entitled to a free trial. This is analogous to when Sony took away the “Other OS” option on PS3s.

        • Andrew Vrba

          Yeah, and the PS3 did fine. Most of its user base just didn’t give a damn in the long run.

          • Supammu Aruchaifu

            My point wasn’t that it would harm Ouya’s future, my point was that it was a dick move.

          • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

            “Yeah, and the PS3 did fine.”

            Not exactly a valid excuse for “bait and switch” business decisions. “They did it and got away with it, so that makes it okay.”

          • Andrew Vrba

            Read your ToS, the free-to-play thing, like many features, was subject to change. You agreed to it.

          • primalxconvoy

            I bought quite a few PS3 games. All of which had a demo at the PSN store. Sony thinks it’s a big deal.

    • Jeff Furlington

      Have you not noticed that America is full of entitled outrage addicts? It started on the wingnut sites like Fox News and Breitbart where anger is used to keep the rubes from thinking, but it has spread to tech sites in the past couple of years.

      • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

        “Have you not noticed that America is full of entitled outrage addicts?”

        Seriously? That’s NOT limited to just America. Sure, we have our fair share of that here, but it seems to be a widespread problem among “modern” humans, what with their convenient access to complain loudly about everything at any instant the urge strikes. Not ALL of us are like that though. Some folk like to occasionally say something positive or educational or just plain helpful sometimes.

  • noname

    You are not increasing the devs freedom but reducing the consumer’s one. You are also throwing away the only peculiarity of the OUYA console: now I can not see any good reason to prefer it over other solution.

    • Andrew Vrba

      I see it like this.
      Ouya: Devs! Please make games for us!
      Devs: You’ve got this draconian “all games must have a demo version” thing, nothankyou.jpg
      Ouya: We got rid of that. The devs who want to release free version can still do so, but it’s not a restriction any longer.
      Devs: Okay! We’ll make some Ouya games!

  • Ladicek

    > We provide devs with a streamlined path to the TV.

    Hopefully, there will be players in front of it. I know I won’t.

  • ★ Sophie Houlden

    wow, a lot of people upset that they won’t get everything free by default, I wonder how many of these people forked over money to support the developers who provided that free content?

    if a game is paid and you feel on principle no demo = no sale, that’s fine. But don’t punish OUYA or developers for doing what works best for them or their games.

    not all games suit having demo content and this should, if nothing else, mean a wider and more interesting selection of games can be offered on OUYA. free to try stuff is still going to be there if it suits the game no doubt – but developers making games that don’t fit the free to try model shouldn’t be shut out because you don’t want their games yourself.

    I think this is a good move from OUYA and I’m happy it’s happened.

    • Jarcas Studios

      This sums up how I feel for the most part… but I’ll add this:

      I think the Ouya has always had a lot of buy-in from indie developers, but not so much from your mainstream gamers. Most of my gamer friends have never heard of the Ouya, or if they did it was only because of me. It’s still a pretty obscure thing in the greater gaming industry. For Ouya to really succeed, it has to reach a wider audience of gamers. For a long time I’ve wondered how that could happen. I don’t know, but this could be it.

      Ultimately, Ouya obviously wants more users buying more games. I think we all want that. My one fear with this decision was that it would hurt one of the unique marketing aspects of the console – the “everything is free to try” piece. I wonder how many consumers bought the Ouya because of that marketing bullet point. After all, it was always heavily touted as a core tenet of the Ouya philosophy. Without that I wonder how many fewer consoles would have been sold. Losing it also makes Ouya a little harder to stand out from the crowd.

      Then again, you could argue that that ship has sailed. They’ve tried the exclusively free-to-play model for a year and it hasn’t brought in enough of a gamer audience. So, something has to give and you do something like this which makes devs happy and pisses off a certain segment of the gamer population. Maybe Ouya loses customers now, but if there’s a bunch of devs waiting in the wings to release demo-less games, then Ouya gets an influx of content, which in turn hopefully results in an influx of other gamers (who are driven by content) and everybody’s happy. And I’m sure the Ouya team knows better than me how much new content to expect as a result of this change and I’m sure they weighed that before coming to this conclusion.

      So, yeah, longwinded way to say that I was on the fence when this was first announced, but after some further thought, I think this will be good for the system and is certainly at least worth trying. I would still love to see Ouya succeed in spite of being surrounded by naysayers. Fingers crossed!

      • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

        “I would still love to see Ouya succeed in spite of being surrounded by naysayers. Fingers crossed!”

        I wholeheartedly agree. The Ouya is well worth the measly little $99 they want for it (and then some, honestly).

    • Ben

      You seem to be asserting that the majority of people that expect demos are the type of people that never pay for anything. I have seen this sort of assertion many times before where the statistics usually prove otherwise.

      It was said that people that use Linux expect everything for free since they use a free operating system. The truth is that Linux users pay *more* for games when given the option to.[1]

      It was said that people that was DRM-free games just want it easier to steal the game for free. It has been shown several times over that people that demand DRM-free games do pay for games including the customers of Good Old Games which revolted when GoG tried to start adding DRM titles to their offerings.

      It is not a matter of choice that if there is no demo then no sale. No one from Ouya is offering a refund for customers that disagree with the bait-and-switch move that Ouya is pulling. Having every game as free to try is a stated feature of the *console*. There is no video on Kickstarter of Julie Uhrman saying that games will be free to try for the first year of release or until Ouya chooses otherwise. What Julie Uhrman said was “All the games are free to try.” Once that feature is removed, it stops being the console that was described on Kickstarter but the sale of the console is still final.

      In terms of “not all games suit having demo content,” a game demo should just be the first 30 minutes of game play. If a game isn’t suited to having 30 minutes of game play and still have more to offer beyond that then it is not worth charging someone for it.

      In terms of “if nothing else, mean a wider and more interesting selection of games,” I believe this is not true either. While it might allow for a wider selection of games, history has proven that this will mean a more interesting selection of games. Of the games released in 2013 that had a metacritic score above 80, the majority of them had a free demo available. Games that did not have a demo tend to have a lower score. So, this move probably will result in a wider selection of games with less quality. And if just having a wider selection at any cost is the goal then why even bother with Ouya at all? iTunes AppStore has over 200,000 games. Google Play has over 100,000 games. How much will Ouya have to erode it’s original mission statement to catch up to that wide of a selection? Is that even possible?

      > “but developers making games that don’t fit the free to try model shouldn’t be shut out because you don’t want their games yourself.”

      I am sorry you feel developers are shut out because they can’t be bothered to make a demo. Other developers that want their games to only work with a Wii-mote style controller are also “shut out” by the nature of the device. The game system was sold as having a controller that is not Wii-mote style. Likewise, the game system was sold on Kickstarter as having a free-to-try model for *ALL* games. If you find that to be a problem then you should take it up with Julie Uhrman that she should select her words better in the future. You shouldn’t not applaud a method of bait and switch. Even if free-to-try is not one of the features you care about, the next feature that Julie Uhrman lied about Ouya always having but gets removed might be a feature you do care about.

      But getting back to what question of if people that play demos expect everything for free–my experience with talking with other fellow gamers and observation with the game industry is that the games of highest quality offer a demo of the game. So, wanting game demos is more about wanting to pay for quality games. So while you seem to assert that people that play demos want everything for free, I assert that people that play demos want to just stop paying for crap and have no problem paying for games of reasonable quality. Also, the industry seems to have responded as such. The best selling games on iTunes AppStore and Google Play store either have a free lite version to demo the game or the game is initially free and requires in-store purchases to fully unlock. While not all games that provided demos where of high quality, the games that did not provide any sort of demo at all tend to be of lower quality.

      It is also important to point out that Kickstarter terms of service requires the Project Creator to provide the product/service as described in the Kickstarter. This change means the service associated with the product will no longer fit a feature that is stated multiple times through-out the Kickstarter description.[2] Once the Project Creator decides that it is unable or unwilling to satisfy the description given in the Kickstarter, they are obligated to provide a refund. There have already been cases that have gone to Pro Se/Small Claims court when Kickstarter Project Creators failed to honor what they promised.

      In the end, this move is less about “choice” as it is forced upon the customers that already bought a console under the original terms that Julie Uhrman stated. Instead this is about *CREDIBILITY* which Ouya seems to be proving they have none.

      References:
      [1] http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/12/linux-users-continue-to-most-for-the-humble-indie-bundle
      [2] https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/058/943/1d701166d53cb122109cfeaef93fc3d2_large.png

      • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

        I was planning a carefully thought out comment, but Ben pretty much nails it on the head with his comment, so I’ll just agree wholeheartedly with most all of what he said.

  • http://www.zerinsakech.com/ Zerin Sakech

    This is great, I just hope they make it easier to find the prices for games, they shouldn’t be scared to show it up front in the Discover store how much a game costs.

    • Andrew Vrba

      That’s one of my favorite things about the Google Play store. There’s a price, right there, before you even tap on the game’s icon!

  • Rock Janecek

    More (good) games for the OUYA is what the OUYA really needs. If it brings more games, it’s good for the system. I rely on reviews, the game description, and youtube videos etc. to justify my purchases perhaps more than any in-game demo. I used my excitement for “The Legend of Iya” to buy “Ultionus” more than the fact that it had a demo, for example. I bought Final Fantasy because it was on sale, and it’s Final Fantasy, without seeing if there was a demo or not. I get excited about anything with the name “Sid Meier” in the title.

    Just to give a few more examples: I eagerly await “Mother 4″ because it’s based on the EarthBound series, even though it’s fan-made. I bought “Papers, Please” relying only on reviews and a youtube video. I routinely buy games on GOG.COM based solely on a franchise or developer that I trust, or if it excites my sense of nostalgia.

    This is good news. Hopefully it opens doors for the company. Playing android games on a TV instead of a phone or a tablet is why I have an OUYA, and part of why I think I’m justified in holding off on the more expensive consoles that are also in their infancy, even if they are part of more established franchises themselves.

    • Jeff Chevalier

      if it wasn’t for the demo, I would have never noticed that Final Fantasy 3 won’t launch offline. I would have bought the game and then found out the trap. I could see SE people laughing “lol! Another fool caught!” so thank you demo for saving my money

      • Andrew Vrba

        Or you could read other people’s reviews of the game to find that out.
        Lets call this what it is, a chance you might loose out on some instant gratification.

        • primalxconvoy

          Reading reviews and watching videos of games is like listening to a trailer for a film and then basing your opinion on that only. Should we also judge a book by its cover for further book purchases?

          I think not.

  • Bill

    What gives, OUYA? You were on a roll
    with the storage and play-list updates, but now you seem hell-bent on
    changing everything that makes you unique.

    First there was OUYA Everwhere. I may sound cynical, but this
    seems like an opportunity for developers to get their cell-phone
    games on to a cell-phone via OUYA store. I’m not sure. What happened
    to “your best gaming moments happened in front of a TV”, as OUYA said
    at Kickstarter launch? The games I create are designed with one or more
    game pads in mind; on screen ‘virtual’ joysticks are never good
    enough to capture the experience of a real control pad (try playing a
    Playstation emulator on a 3.5-inch touch screen phone to see what I
    mean!) For me, one of the best things about OUYA is the return to

    old-school local multiplayer with friends and family sat around a TV,

    Okay, to be fair, by other devices, you
    may not mean phones exclusively, but that might make matters worse.
    Are you planning on porting DISCOVER over to other, more powerful
    consoles? If so, what reason can you give to people to buy OUYA 2?
    Have you considered the problems that devs might have if they can’t
    get their game working on one of several devices? Especially since
    you’ve stated that some of them struggle enough getting a simple demo
    to work on the OUYA alone!

    As a gamer, “Free to Try” has made
    a positive impact on what games I buy. Again, it’s all about
    “experience” here: Towerfall and Amazing Frog, on the face of it,
    don’t look like fantastic games. You’ve got to play them to realise
    how much fun they are! I’ve even tried games from genres I tend to
    avoid, such as the puzzle game Clark; I love this game and ended up
    buying it straight away, where I wouldn’t have given it a chance
    normally. The idea that I could discover all the games was a very
    tempting and was probably one of the reasons why I took a chance on
    buying an OUYA. Out of the $110 I’ve spent on games so far, about
    half of that I might not have parted on without trying first.

    I suppose the best I can do is urge developers to keep
    offering “Free to Try” in future, and hope that OUYA is sensible
    in separating free-to-try from first-time-buy in DISCOVER by
    playlists, etc. so expectations and “choices” are clearly
    presented.

    I’m sorry for the panic in my tone, I
    love what you’ve done so far with the console and project, I’m just
    concerned about your new direction. I suppose OUYA Inc has never been
    afraid to take chances. I just hope all this pays off.

    • Andrew Vrba

      That’s the thing. They weren’t “on a roll”, they’ve been struggling with this thing since day one.
      They finally game to the realization that to survive Ouya needs to change how it does things.

      • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

        I believe a big part of the reason they’ve “struggled since day one” may have (at least in part) something to do with all the whiners who wrote hateful reviews about the $99 Ouya not living up to their $600 big-name console expectations of it. If you EXPECT the Ouya to be a nice little $99 gaming and media console, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by how far it exceeds it’s pricetag. (Compare ANY other $99 price range Android gaming device against Ouya side by side and you see Ouya is a superior machine for the price paid.)

        It does bother me a bit to see Ouya getting so much undeserved hatred from such a small number of people, yet that hatred getting so much MORE attention from the “mainstream” gaming media than the many happy buyers of the Ouya who’ve had GOOD things to say about it. Why are all the pleased purchasers getting ignored while the few loud whiners are getting treated as media gods by the game review sites?

        • Andrew Vrba

          Or it has “struggled since day one”, because its legitimately not as good as the hype.

          • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

            There’s a significant difference between “hype” and reality and always has been. Just because a thing does not live up to the “hype” does not mean it does not live up to it’s value and potential when viewed objectively without bias. Again, I suggest comparing the Ouya against other similarly priced devices and judge it on it’s actual merits rather than judging it based on “hype” and media rhetoric. It’s actually quite a good device for the price, and it has already been wildly successful at it’s mission of “creating a revolution on the TV” as yet ANOTHER competitor in the “microconsole” market has been released, this time from Amazon. If the microconsole market were as “dead” as the “hype” would have us believe, then there wouldn’t be one after another new competitor jumping on the bandwagon trying to release the latest device to join the trend.

          • Andrew Vrba

            Except Fire TV isn’t competing against Ouya. It’s competing against Apple TV. Ouya’s not even a blip on their radar.

  • Andrew Vrba

    This is frankly a good idea. One that could really pay off in a big way.
    Android gamers who look at Ouya think “Ooooh! A way to play my favorite mobile games on the TV, without any rigamarole! Then they look harder, only to find out that most of the games they hoped for, are nowhere to be found in the marketplace for the thing!

  • Grant Moore

    A lot of whining all across the internet but I want to applaud you all for making this decision. It’s one that shows respect for the developers who don’t necessarily agree a “free” portion of the game is a good idea. Personally, I don’t think demos are good for sales as a whole and would rather not give away a portion of a game that I worked so hard on for free just because. I would only do it if it made sense from a marketing perspective and I was sure it would translate into more sales. More often than not, I think that is not the case among indie developers who don’t have the marketing experience to build a demo aimed at sales conversions. So thank you for making this optional, it’s sure to piss off a lot of your fanbase, but in the long run, I think it’s a very positive move.

    • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

      I’m in favor of this comment even though I’m not entirely in favor of the decision it applauds (I like being able to test a game to be SURE it works well before I spend my hard earned money on it). The reason I favor this comment is because it’s not just random hatred like so many other comments. It makes a point, and the part I agree with the most in this comment is “I want to applaud you all for making this decision”. Now, even though I somewhat disagree with the decision itself, I would like to suggest that the Ouya folk NOT proceed to backpedal on this decision unless it becomes absolutely clear that it was the WRONG decision. If you start to give the impression that you’re weak-willed and going to cave in to every whiner in the world, you’re doomed from the get-go. Make decisions because it’s the right thing for your business, and because it’s what you have to do to succeed.

  • http://twitter.com/int_main Andrew Morrish

    As a dev, I’m happy about this change. For the players, it means we get the same games we would have always gotten + more games that wouldn’t have worked under the old restrictions.

  • RCMADIAX

    Coming from a developer’s perspective, this is great news! I may finally be able to port my games to OUYA since I no longer have to worry about figuring out how to implement the IAP API into the game engine I use.

  • Alex Knuckles

    It was great while it lasted, but now there is absolutely no reason to have an Ouya instead of a Mojo. Hello, eBay!

    • Andrew Vrba

      There was never a reason to own it to begin with.

    • Debian Akroyd

      Well, to be honest, just because they aren’t requiring a demo doesn’t mean that the developer won’t release one. Im still thoroughly pleased with my Ouya and I won’t be throwing it in the trash just because the corporation that developed the device says you don’t have to release a demo.

  • Ephriam Zachary Knight

    That’s a shame. I guess I will be buying far fewer games on the Ouya in the future. I bought a number of games after trying the free demo. Many games I would never had considered buying at all without it.

    Personally, I think that was the biggest draw for me and protected the Ouya from much of the F2P and race to the bottom stuff happening on other stores. Now, price will be the key factor in deciding whether to get a game. If it is not cheap enough, I will likely not buy it.

  • Doub

    So you’ve exhausted the market of people that want free shitty games. Now you want to sell your console to people that want expensive quality games, at the risk of alienating your original audience (the very people that made Ouya possible on Kickstarter, but who cares?). I hope you already sold your startup for shitloads of money, because it will take very stupid investors to follow you in the future.

  • Supammu Aruchaifu

    I’d rather see Ouya try to help devs out at understanding how to provide a demo or other “free trial.” Keep in mind, nothing about this is new; in fact, “shareware” used to be the standard business model. Although I don’t understand the “it doesn’t make sense, creatively” argument, all others could simply be solved with either time limits or nuisance screens. TowerFall had an awful “free” mode, which was extremely annoying, and an awful way to create a demo. The gameplay is amazing though, and I bought the game because it was worth the money. It is not hard to get a demo or some other free restriction right, and even if you don’t get it right, if your gameplay is good, people will buy your game. Devs have struggled to make money on Ouya because the platform was a flop, not because of the free trial model. It’s unfortunate that the system didn’t make it; I love mine, and I don’t regret the purchase at all, though I admit I only bought three games (that I remember), and I’m sure anyone who owns an Ouya knows at least two of those games without me saying (ignoring the fact that I said one of them before). The hardware is great for the price, and there are good games, there just aren’t enough good games.

    • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

      “Devs have struggled to make money on Ouya because the platform was a flop, not because of the free trial model.”

      If devs have struggled because the platform was a flop, I suspect that’s at least partly because of the weasely reviews from early adopters who were disappointed that they didn’t get the equivalent of one of the “big name” expensive consoles for the $99 price tag. I’ve read some might hateful reviews (even on big sites like Forbes, surprisingly) where people go on and on about how the graphics quality is just awful and games and video don’t play smoothly (which in my own personal experience is simply NOT the case at all). If it’s not giving you a million frames per second, with full antialiasing at ultra-high resolution with max detail, well, you should really not be surprised. It’s not that sort of device. You want desktop PC performance, BUY A DESKTOP PC OR A CONSOLE WITH EQUIVALENT HARDWARE, people! Just don’t expect to pay $99 for it. The CHEAPEST tolerable gaming machine I’ve seen outside of Ouya starts at $199, and that’s another of the “microconsole” type devices. Anything more powerful is likely to run $300 or more.

      On the other hand, if what you want is a cheap and reasonably powerful way to use XBMC media center and play a fairly large selection of mostly decent games (as well as emulators so that you can dust off a lot of those OLD games you probably still have in a closet somewhere), then Ouya (and at least some of it’s competition) is totally the right type of device. Like Supammu goes on to say after the above comment, “I love mine, and I don’t regret the purchase at all”, and they’re not by a longshot the first person I’ve heard say that about their Ouya. It’s easily worth the asking price, and the company seems willing to bend over backward to try to please everyone (though I believe that may be part of their problem, actually.)

      In conclusion, you get what you pay for. If you pay $99, then expect a $99 console, not a $600 name brand console. If you compare the Ouya against any $99 Android tablet, you find that it kinda stomps most of ‘em into the dirt. (I know, as I have just such a tablet that I bought after MUCH research to be sure I was getting the most powerful tablet I could for my $100).

      • Supammu Aruchaifu

        I paid for a closed ecosystem with a requirement that devs provide a demo. I didn’t get what I paid for. They could have lifted that requirement with the Ouya 2, and I wouldn’t have complained.

        By the way, the reason the Ouya kicks the pants off a similarly priced tablet is that tablets are extremely cheap to manufacture, if you exclude the screen. Even cheaper if you skimp on storage. I would be surprised if a moderately high end tablet, sans screen, and with a hypothetical 8 GB SSD (A high end tablet is unlikely to ship with only 8 GB these days), costs much more to manufacture than the Ouya.

        • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

          I actually do agree with you about the requirement about providing a demo. That was one of the “big deal” selling points they made a lot of noise about during the initial KickStarter campaign, and it does bother me a bit that they tossed it out so readily, but then again, one must also consider they did it (at least partially) to be more “open”, same as the reason they chose to release their SDK under the Apache license. After all, one of the excuses I’ve seen folk use to whine about the Ouya “sucking” is that it’s somehow not “open” enough, tho I’m not sure I understand that thinking really, considering it’s based on Android, and it’s SDK is released under an open source license, but whatever… There’s always gonna be some group of folk that are impossible to please no matter how far you bend over backward trying to please them.

          • Supammu Aruchaifu

            The push to change the policy is likely from the hedge funds that invested in Ouya. I know if I were a hedge fund manager, and performance was this bad, I’d demand changes.

  • Debian Akroyd

    Honestly, if the game has no demo, im not going to buy it. This was the whole reason I bought the Ouya console. I bought it because all the games were free to try, giving me the option to decide whether or not I like the game prior to purchasing it so I dont waste money on a game that turns out to be utter garbage! I *WILL NOT* fund a developer who churns out nothing but aweful games. This is the beauty of Free to Try because I can try the game with NO RISK!

    It is not hard to let me play the first few levels, stop, and ask me to pay to continue the game. It is not expensive to do that neither (just a few lines of code in the full version to check what type of lincense I have? come on!). For me, a good demo is a demo that lets me play SOMETHING that is in the full version, whether it be the first level, the first 2 – 3 levels, a puzzle, SOMETHING! THAT is a good enough demo for me to see what the game is about.

    If I like the demo, I buy the full version! If I dont like the demo, then I lost nothing and I dont feel like I wasted my time, efforts, and money.

    The Ouya is a great console. I have yet to find a game for it that makes me want to throw my controller through the screen. I have several games that I have bought and paid the full price for and I dont feel bad at all about it because I was able to try the game first. Given the choice between Desktop, Xbox, PS3/4, and Ouya, I will choose the Ouya every single time! I commend the developers for making really great and entertaining games for the ouya, I just dont want to be required to pay some (possibly large) amount of money just to “try” a game. Really, demos (along with screenshots and videos of the game and a good description) are the best way to market games, it allows the end user to experience enough of the game to decide whether or not the end user wants to purchase the game.

    Listen to your happy customers! You can’t please everyone, but you can advance the technology by listening to those who offer constructive criticism about the console.

    • Karyyk

      Therein lies a large part of the problem. I don’t hear a lot of happy consumers. I hear a lot of people complaining about games being too expensive because some of them cost more than their phone games. I hear a lot of people complaining that there aren’t enough games coming, that developers won’t bring their games to the console. No one is telling the developers that they can’t still to “Free to Try,” but I don’t see how giving them a choice in the matter somehow infringes on my rights as a consumer. Choice is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I don’t have to like it when other people make choices I don’t necessary agree with, but that doesn’t inhibit my right to make an entirely different decision. If OUYA wants to be open, then they need to be open. This is a step toward that.

  • jrronimo

    I’m all for things that bring more developers to the platform. I certainly HOPE that developers choose to continue to release demos, as a demo really can sell a game. On Gamestick, for instance, I often end up having to try to buy a game without any reviews or demos based on a video alone. Having a demo provides nice, interactive guidance.

    But Ouya also has a problem of not converting enough downloads to sales, so I really hope this helps!

    • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

      “But Ouya also has a problem of not converting enough downloads to sales, so I really hope this helps!”

      Personally, I was all gung-ho about buyin’ games for my Ouya at first, but as I’ve found more than a few utterly broken games on the Ouya store, no refund policy that I can find, and several of my Humble Bundle DRM-free games turn into demo versions if installed on Ouya, I’m gettin’ more than a little bit nervous about them even havin’ my credit card info at all. Kinda wish I’d never trusted them with it.

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  • http://SinisterSoft.com/ Anthony Ball

    If it’s about choice then please add Google Play! ;p

    • Andrew Vrba

      Oh, what devices get official Google Play support, is up to Google. At present they actually blacklist the Ouya hardware.

  • http://www.itsmatt.me/ Matthew Stenquist

    :3 This is great news.

  • Eric Master

    I agree to free the choice to the developers, I think it will bring attention to more developers which also mean more games. However, I
    think that not all gamers will agree with this (All games free-to-try is a featured that attracted many gamers to this platform), so there needs to be some kind of “compensation” for gamers if this is going to be allowed. I propose 2 things

    - Allow users (gamers) to filter by “free-to-try games only” in the discover section
    - Allow users to be refunded for paid games during the 24(?) hours from the time of purchase if they don’t like the game, or some sort of refund option

    • http://bloo.weeman.org/ Bavarin Fleetfoot

      “I propose 2 things

      - Allow users (gamers) to filter by “free-to-try games only” in the discover section
      - Allow users to be refunded for paid games during the 24(?) hours from the time of purchase if they don’t like the game, or some sort of refund option”

      I agree with this entirely. That’s one thing that’s been bothering me rather a bit. I’ve had several free to try games straight up not work at all, or work badly, and I sure as heck ain’t gonna actually BUY a game without knowin’ for certain it’ll work if there’s absolutely ZERO refund policy in place to compensate if the game happens to be broken.

  • Anthony

    As an indie developer, I think its pretty sad when companies can not provide a demo of there work. This is not a hard thing to do if thought of early in the development process. The real reason that people do not buy games is because it is a poor product not worth the money posted. Instead publishers want to sucker people into buying it, with the screw you no refunds option. Sorry, but I stopped buying games like this 15 years ago. Games are too expensive these days to get conned over with. Even a simple little game should have things like decent controls and smooth graphics, I said smooth as in a good refresh rate on the eyes, not actual artistic stylings, and I would like to ensure I am getting these things. Last thing I want is a game that I can’t play.

    • http://SinisterSoft.com/ Anthony Ball

      “Games are too expensive these days to get conned over with. ”

      Are you crazy – have you seen the price of Ouya and Mobile games compared to AAA titles? How much do you pay for a taxi or a beer?

      • Anthony

        I actually own my car, so I do not know what taxi’s cost, and I pay $2 to $3 for a beer, but I do not pay $2 or $3 for something that tastes like piss

        Yes I have seen the games, I have owned an Ouya since day 1, there is a big difference in price when it comes to AAA and Ouya games yes, but that is not my argument here. Just because I am paying $1, $2 or $5, I still expect it to not suck, I want my moneys worth out of it. If you bought something for a dollar, and it broke on you, two things are going to happen, you are going to say fuck it, it was a dollar, I just won’t buy from them anymore, or you will return it. Well on Ouya, you can’t return it, so you are stuck with option 1. Here is the problem with option 1, this tells developers that is ok to program this shitty, so they will continue to do so. Now Ouya is flooded with a ton of terrible games. Congrats, nobody takes this console seriously anymore. At least with the demo option, it rectifies the no refund rule, and the consumer has the ability to say no, I will not purchase this piece of shit. Now the developer needs to change its process or die. Sorry, videos and reviews are not as powerful as a demo, I have purchased lots of games that are bombs, but I love because the reviewer was biased because I tried them prior to buying.

        The real issue of my post is developers whining because some form of demo is too hard, when in reality they are more than likely trying to make a quick buck. This is a terrible practice, since a lot of developers like myself treat our work as art, and not a product, so we do what we can to show case this art and be proud of it, only to have it cheapened by quick cash apps saturating the market. The forced demo was a nice way to weed it out. Now giving it as an “option” to developers starts to cheapen the experience for other developers, yes those who care will provide them, doesn’t stop the market from over saturating the market.

        I know and understand why Ouya needs to take this approach, because it needs sales, they are not what is expected, its business.

        That is fine. Just say that. I’ll hop on the market and skip the no demo apps.

        But to have developers say they can’t demo their work and to buy it on faith is just bullshit, and to me shows that they are selling something they do not believe in themselves, I myself will invest in the “artists” and pray the quick cash apps don’t kill the market place.

  • http://mike.conway.org/ Mike Conway

    Well, if I must, then I must. Simply, my philosophy is this: if you won’t provide a demo, I’m going to assume your game is crap. You’re merely trying to hide that fact from me, and you want to take my money before I find out.

    I’ve been burned like this on other consoles, and I don’t have a huge amount of money to go spending on games only to find that what I spent my money on is a lemon. These days, unless I can play it first, I don’t want to sink any money into it. If I wanted that, I’d just go back to my Xbox (admittedly, tho, I have bought several games on Xbox purely because of how fun the demo was).

    With no demo, there’s no incentive to make a quality game.

    I fully intend to develop games for the OUYA, and am working on a couple right now, but the idea that I shouldn’t provide my customers with something to try first has never been an option that I’ve entertained. I don’t want you to buy my stuff if you don’t like it. I want you to see that you like it before you give me your money. That means something to me.

  • primalxconvoy

    I am all for paid only content. However, Ouya is not in the position to be a platform that can offer this competitively, due to the lack of an official refund polic (which Google PLay has) and also hardware that works (like the official controllers that are infamous for not working). Add to that the lack of consistent support for third party controllers and peripherals (like USB keyboards interfering with some games) and we are left with a system where trying a game is essential to seeing if it will work, yet alone be a game worth playing. Ouya is not a brand that has nuch faith, both by its already subscribed users, nor by the general public. Furthermore, now that Ouya is the “same” as rival storefronts, it has little or nothing to distinguish itself from those services. The free demos were a very strong brand connection and feature that helped Ouya combat the notion that it’s “just Android”. Now, many months after this fisaco happened, has Ouya honestly improved sales or brought the back catalogue or latest triple A Android games to the system? I think not. Ouya will continue its death spiral into obscurity, now that the likes of Android TV and other more capable companies are entering this microconsole market. I won’t miss Ouya when it does, either.

  • http://www.jopv.net/ Jop

    Good to hear.

  • Daniel Eriksson

    Thanks OUYA! This announcement reaffirmed my decision to port my games to your platform. While I agree it is important to have some sort of demo or try-before-you-buy in some cases, I really prefer an honest one-time sum when buying games. I feel there is a big danger in using concepts like paygates, microtransactions, excessive DLC, “freemium”, etc too much, and personally I prefer buying my games once, even if it comes at a higher cost. That is also how I would prefer to sell games. A small, one time cost that allows the buyer to play the game as much as she/he wants, without worrying about only getting part of the game, having to play more later, etc.
    Expansions and DLC that adds to an already completed game is of course another story. Either way, this announcement made me very happy and I really appreciated that you took this decision. It helps make OUYA much more of the console I want it to be.