Back in 2012, a startup company, Ouya, announced that it planned on releasing the world's first Android video game console.
That project was so novel and popular that the company rounded up more than $8.5 million on Kickstarter, putting it in the top five Kickstarter projects of all time.
However, once the Ouya console became a reality, it couldn't compete with video game consoles by Microsoft and Sony. Ouya also struggled with finding people who wanted to buy the console, as well as developers who wanted to make games for it. But that didn't stop Ouya from quietly working on other projects, and the company created a successful online retail store for apps, as well as a host of new Android games, including many for TV.
Now, that store and those games belong to Razer, a company that confirmed today that it recently acquired Ouya. This includes the app store, over 1,000 Ouya video games, as well as Ouya's existing staff.
Ouya will become part of Razer's Cortex TV gaming platform, which will see a relaunch of Ouya as Cortex for Android TV. However, Razer announced that it also plans on phasing out the Ouya console, the hardware that made Ouya famous.
"There are about 200,000 users on the Ouya platform and for the hardware users, we intend to, out of goodwill (as we didn't acquire the hardware assets), keep the lights on for their gaming service for at least 12 months as we encourage them to migrate to the Razer service, which will have a lot more features, new content and new games," said Razer founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan to TechCrunch. "We will have more follow-up announcements soon on the transition to the new service."
Although Ouya is losing its status as an independent business, the company feels the deal with Razer still furthers the company's mission of giving game and app developers "more freedom, particularly with creating games for TV."
"We are excited that Razer will expand our vision," said Ouya CEO and co-founder Julie Uhrman. "While this was a hard trail to blaze, we proved that we could bring new thinking to how the games industry operates and we hope we have paved the way for others, allowing all game developers to bring his or her game to the big screen."