Razer has agreed to buy the heart and soul of indie darling Ouya, the games accessory manufacturer announced on Monday.
Razer has acquired Ouya's name, app store and software. The company's now shuttered hardware business wasn't a part of the deal, which means the Ouya-branded Android console and its gamepad will remain buried. Ouya's app store will be rebranded as "Cortex" and will service Razer's Forge TV console, among other devices.
Razer is playing the long game with the acquisition of Ouya's surviving assets, as it intends to target Android-based set top boxes and the Android TV, according to Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. Ouya already publishes content to Android-based boxes such as the Alibaba Tmall box and the Xiaomi Mi Box, he says.
"Ouya's work with game developers, both triple A and indies, went a long way in bringing Android games to the living room and Razer intends to further that work," says Tan. "This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform."
Ouya's entire staff of just over half a dozen employees will migrate over to Razer, except for Julie Uhrman. Uhrman, Ouya's CEO, expressed pride over what her company managed to accomplish up to this point.
"Ouya was created with the goal to give developers more freedom. In doing this, we created the first open platform for television," said Uhrman. "And, with more than 1,000 games, we offered more content — and a broader variety — than any other platform."
The Ouya Android-based games console has intrigued the gaming industry as the $100 system soared to success on Kickstarter and eventually attracted about $15 million in investments. The company offered the console as an open platform for developers, though it kept the Ouya's original games as exclusives. Tan plans to change that, now that the heart of Ouya is in Razer's hands.
"We're going to amp it up," says Tan. "Open all Ouya games to Google Play and the boxes in China."
For those still using the Ouya consoles, Tan says his company will support the platform for 12 months and will offer incentives for users to migrate over to Razer's Forge TV.