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Ouya’s ‘Free the Games Fund’ initiative just can’t catch a break

Ouya removes Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus from the “Free the Games Fund” program after it reached its kickstarter target with the help of a family member.


Ouya’s “Free the Games Fund” sounded like such a nice idea on paper. The company would support fledgeling kickstarter projects by matching their pledges dollar for dollar, provided the project raised a minimum of $50,000. In return, the game which qualifies for the fund will be exclusive to Ouya for the first six months of its release. Seems like a win-win situation for all involved. However, the entire initiative has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus seemed like it was on track to qualify for the program when it reached the target goal of $50,000 two days from the deadline. However, the developer has recently revealed that the game was removed from Ouya’s ‘Free the Games Fund’ after it came to light that the project received a sizable donation from the father of William McDonald, the project’s head.

While the entire episode falls into a moral grey area, McDonald himself sees it in black and white.

“Apparently OUYA has decided to change the rules on us. With less than two days to go they have removed our Freethegames link from the OUYA homepage and delisted us from the website,” McDonald wrote in a blog post. “If we had remained silent we very likely would have received the funds, our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing.”

Over the weekend, a game called Gridiron Thunder came under scrutiny when it earned $171,000 from just 183 backers on kickstarter and made it into Ouya’s ‘Free the Games Fund’ program. If you do the math, that just comes out to be just under $950 pledged per backer. Based on previous kickstarter projects, such a high average donation raised quite a few eyebrows, and McDonald believes that the backlash of that matter has caused his team to lose out on the promised funds.

“It appears we were thrown under the FTG bus”, he said. “Ouya gets their fall guy and Grid Iron keeps their money.”

Source : Joystiq

Shehryar Sohail Muzammil
Shehryar's unhealthy obsession with video games has been a feature of his life for as long as he can remember. On the few occasions he is seen outdoors, you can find him playing football and cheering madly for Chelsea FC.

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