The Ouya console might not have been the first video game project to hit it big on Kickstarter, but it’s easily the biggest, with around 57,000 people contributing money towards a machine that doesn’t even exist yet.
You’d hope that, come 2013, those 57,000 peoople will see a return on their investment in the form of an Ouya console. But what happens if they don’t? Or if any other Kickstarter project cashes in your money but then fails to deliver?
An NPR report on the service spoke with Ouya mastermind Julie Uhrman, and while chatting brought up the subject of money. Namely, would Ouya return the backer’s money if the console doesn’t actually get made?
“Technically, from the Kickstarter perspective, I actually don’t know the answer to that,” she said. “But from a doing-the-right-thing perspective, we will treat our backers the best possible way.”
That’s when Ouya PR rep Tiffany Spencer says, “That’s a Kickstarter policy question.”
So NPR reporter Aarti Shahani asks Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler whether, in the unlikely event the Ouya can’t be delivered, would the company be able to intervene?
“You know, that would be new ground,” he replied. “I don’t know. I mean, no, I don’t think that we would. But certainly, the kind of thing you’re talking about is not a bridge that has been crossed yet. Someday it will. And you know, I think if something did go awry, it would be – it wouldn’t be my favourite day.”
Oh boy. I know the service is still in its infancy, and that with so much money and talent behind it the Ouya should arrive just fine, but those are not words that inspire confidence in Kickstarter’s ability to manage things when, inevitably, something comes along that does screw people over.
You can read, or even listen to, the full story below.