Up until now known only for its gaming hardware, San Diego’s Razer looks to be branching out into content.
The company has acquired Ouya’s publishing business and app store, which houses over 1,000 games. Ouya, as you'll remember, released a crowdfunded, affordable Android-based console two years ago. A nice idea, on paper - but flawed design and execution meant it failed to set the world alight.
Aside from CEO Julie Uhrman, Ouya’s staff of around fifteen people will be moving to work for Razer. Razer will offer this newly-acquired tech to other companies under the name of Cortex, as well as keeping Ouya’s game publishing business fully functioning as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman seemed to be happy with how far the crowdfunded games console had come: "I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished," she said. "Ouya was created with the goal to give developers more freedom. In doing this, we created the first open platform for television. And, with more than 1,000 games, we offered more content - and a broader variety - than any other platform”.
Ouya’s app store is going to be Razer’s biggest opportunity for expansion. It is already available for certain TV set-top boxes, even a few in China. Razer’s CEO Min-Liang Tan thinks that its resources will make it easier for the game publishing business as well as the app store to further expand. Tan recognises that very few companies offer this combination of content and devices: "It makes us one of the biggest players in the living room”.
Razer will offer support for Ouya’s console for the next year, and current customers will receive discounts and offers to try and persuade them to invest in their Forge TV console. Tan has faith that Ouya’s game publishing business will still continue to be a testing ground for smaller developers: "There's a huge amount of competitive advantage and value that Ouya can bring," he said.