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Ouya to raise money for game developers

The game console maker wants to give away $1 million to help developers create games for its Android-based platform.

Ouya's Android-based gaming console.
Ouya's Android-based gaming console. Ouya

Ouya is aiming to lure in game developers by giving them cash for Kickstarter-funded projects.

Unveiled on Thursday, the new Ouya Free the Games Fund will match up to $1 million for pledges made for Ouya-targeted games launched via Kickstarter. More than 20,000 registered Ouya game creators and other developers could gain access to matching funds -- from $50,000 up to $250,000 -- for games launched on the fundraising Web site starting next month

To qualify for the matching funds, developers must agree to the following requirements:

  • Game projects must launch on Kickstarter on or after August 9, 2013, and conclude by August 10, 2014.
  • Games must meet their Kickstarter funding goal and raise a minimum of $50,000 to be eligible for matching.
  • Once successfully funded via Kickstarter, Ouya will match 100 percent of the total funds raised up to $250,000.
  • Game creators must make their game exclusive on Ouya for a minimum of six months beginning on the date the title becomes available for download on Ouya.

"There are two reasons why Ouya is on retail store shelves today: we had an innovative idea to build an affordable and open game console for the television, and we found fans who supported our idea and provided the funds to make it happen," Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said in a statment. "Since then, we've seen dozens of great games launch on Kickstarter, and now we are in the enviable position of being able to give back and secure the best, exclusive games for Ouya."

The developer who scores the highest amount in pledges will also receive a juicy bonus.

"The kicker, at the end, is whichever raises the best will get a $100,000 bonus," Uhrman told the Wall Street Journal. "We're saying, 'hey, you're a rock star.'"

Curious developers can learn more at Ouya's Free the Games Fund page.

The goal behind the campaign is to ignite game development for the platform. And at this point, Ouya needs games.

Like many budding technologies, Ouya has potential. It's already seen healthy demand, both through Kickstarter and retail outlets. But without enough compelling apps to drive it, the console faces an uphill battle convincing the average consumer to give it a whirl.

Update, 8:24 a.m. PT: Adds quote from Ouya CEO and more details on Ouya's Free the Games Fund.