When you play an Ouya, you can try a demo of every single game available, without ever having to buy a thing. Which is exactly what most owners of the tiny Android console are doing. In an interview with The Verge, CEO Julie Uhrman has said that while “Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected”, 73% of owners haven’t paid a cent for a game.
The same report also reveals that “13 of Ouya’s 20 top grossing games have recorded an average of 8 per cent of gamers upgrading from the free to paid versions of their titles.”
Uhrman says Ouya is happy with that kind of business, and hey, maybe they are. The console runs Android games, and the phone game market would be happy with that kind of turnover.
Only…the Ouya isn’t a phone. It’s not going to be going for the same quick, disposable experiences as mobile games. If developers need to tailor their games to the console in order to sell them (the Ouya has its own store, and doesn’t just link to Google Play), what incentive are they going to have if most people aren’t buying?