Gearbox cautious about Ouya

CEO Randy Pitchford says he can't justify appropriating resources to new platform until he knows how large install base will be.

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BOSTON--Borderlands developer Gearbox Software is cautious about the Ouya. Speaking during a panel at PAX East, CEO Randy Pitchford said the studio has obtained some development kits, but is wary to support the platform due to concerns over install base.

"I think our mission is to entertain people, right? Wherever people happen to be. I think Ouya is great. I contributed to it on Kickstarter; I have a dev kit. Some people are playing with the kits around the studio," Pitchford said. "I'm not sure how much effort to put towards that because[…]I don't how large that audience is going to be yet. And we have to be responsible."

Pitchford explained that the decision to support Ouya is ultimately about business.

"One of the challenges with game makers is increasingly people who get very good at certain things like programming or art or design, they expect to get paid a lot," he said. "And what that means is it becomes very expensive to create video games. And if we don't make as much as we spend, we don't get to keep doing it. We don't want to be amongst those studios that close down."

Though Gearbox may not be an active supporter of Ouya, Pitchford said he expects up-and-coming developers to make compelling products for the device.

"I'm interested in the platform and I love efforts like that. And I'm certain that some industrious, clever, up-and-comers will take advantage of emerging platforms."

The $99 Ouya will launch this June through the company's website and via major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop.

Discussion

136 comments
DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

He should be talking.  Alien Colonial Marines was a half-assed made game.

NbAlIvEr10000
NbAlIvEr10000

Gearbox.......stop making games to begin with.

ABakedAlien
ABakedAlien

What the hell is that thing in the picture? Id rather just save my money and make my own ice cube in the freezer for my drink.

BlendThree
BlendThree

Who is telling Randy that Gearbox would have to develop exclusive titles for Ouya? I'd suggest the safe bet (for Gearbox or any company contemplating getting on board) would be to develop games that they would for any other Android based OS and simply offer an Ouya-specific version.  The cost of developing games this way could always be offset by the Android market should the Ouya prove a bust.

FlameBoyBen
FlameBoyBen

don't worry gearbox , you can use sonys money to fund ur games on the ouya

megakick
megakick

I don't get it, just play games on your smart phone :/

Its' a hipster toy, Apple should sale Ouya it would sell better.

Xaekyx
Xaekyx

Big game developers won't stand behind Ouya because they don't know how big the fanbase  will be (despite the huge success on Kickstarter, which will certainly only be a fraction of the sales once it goes live). And many people won't buy an Ouya until they see games on it that they recognize. It's kinda a vicious circle.

The problem with big name companies is that they don't take risks, even minor risks like porting already made games over to the Ouya. If the Ouya takes off, then these indie game developers will be the ones making the big bucks. I hope it does. Maybe it'll make companies like Gearbox to start thinking OUTSIDE THE BOX. (see what I did there?)

MusclesJAM
MusclesJAM

Honestly, I'm not a supporter of Ouya in the sense that I want to get one.  But why would you root for it's demise?  Listen, there are a LOT of android peripherals/systems that are moving toward traditional controllers, including Ouya, Nvidia Shield, Moga, and Moga Pro.  And as long as the install base is large enough on all of them put together (and games are designed to run on a range of devices), then designing "good" games on android will be feasible.  Touchscreens can only do so much.  Sometimes you need analog sticks and some buttons.  Just got myself a Moga for free at Pax East.  Thing is pretty nifty, but games that support it are very limited right now.

nameaprice
nameaprice

ouya my ass! this thing is lame and will go the way of all lame ass ideas, NOWHERE! mark my words kiddies :P

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

'' We don't want to be amongst those studios that close down."

Oh no, you don't? Then you better not give us another fraud like Aliens: CM.

ghostXzero
ghostXzero

OUYA -- what a stupid name.  what's dumber is that it's "supposed" to be pronounced ooya.  more lame words thrown into the english language by people who can't spell.

kisado87
kisado87

What's with all the sudden press about Gearbox and Pitchford? Who gives a shit?

tionmedon
tionmedon

boycott.....................GEARBOX..........................ty......

aloufika
aloufika

dont sit and watch support it and u will see ppl draw too it u devs 

obsequies
obsequies

doesn't mean that the games have to be exclusive, frick this thing is android based it will be a sinch 

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Did he not see the kickstarter? The install base is pretty good size already. People already have a lot of hope for this and it is these hesitations that cause a system to die off. If everyone waits around for the system to get huge but no one wants to make the first game to get people buying then it will flop. It needs solid titles and someone has to be the one to make the first risk, whether it is the developers or consumers.

keviac
keviac

Hes the used car salesman of Video games. His job is to make his short comings sound great. Ill be the first to say hes great at it. I couldn't care less if he has interest or not.

michyeosseo
michyeosseo

I think the most important selling proposition of the Ouya is its price tag. Its cheaper than any other console on the market and it's even cheaper than a lot of video games these days (I'm looking at all the limited editions, DLC and whatnot). There'll be enough gamers buying this 'just to kill time in between big titles on the big consoles'. The Ouya already had a lot of backing on Kickstarter, so they must be doing something right.

I'm tempted to get one, so once I see the full deal I'll more than consider it.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

@NbAlIvEr10000 Why?  Are you upset over there wildly successful Borderlands and Borderlands 2 games?  Gearbox made one of these best co-op games of this generation, I hope they make many more!

Klyern
Klyern

@FlameBoyBen dude yours is the most intelligent taunt i heard in months -_-,  good one, you made me smile bro.

shadow580
shadow580

@megakick Smart phones have terrible touch screen controls. Try playing Max Payne on an Iphone and see how it works. I got past the first level before I gave up. At least the Ouya has a proper controller.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@MusclesJAM The problem is like PCs too many different systems, with different power, and smartphones come out each year. So what is the FUTURE point you want the game to come out as and for which devices that will hit that target power point.  What about the API for these devices,  Processors such as ARM with different GPUs, (snap dragon, A-6, Tegra, PowerVR and Mali ) not to mention x86 atom clover trail chips. 

Ouya, and other Android platforms such as smartphones, and tablets will not be unified and therefore a fragmented field. 

jdlloyd
jdlloyd

@nameaprice Wow. You know, I never saw it that way before. I kind of liked the idea of a cheap open gaming platform, but now I see things in a new light. gg

jdlloyd
jdlloyd

@ghostXzero Yeah, I'm not too keen on the name myself, but after Nintendo actually named their console the "Wii", I find myself not caring so much about something called named "Ouya".

LtReviews
LtReviews

@Tripwolf  

He also did the Half-Life expansions, Brothers in Arms, and Borderlands.

 Yeah, Gearbox has their ups and downs, but Brothers in Arms and Borderlands more than make up for it.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@Spartan_418 Sony really NEEDS to LOWER the DIFFICULTY with the CERTIFICATION process in order to make other devices less appealing to game developers. 

LtReviews
LtReviews

@Spartan_418 

 Ouya is ridiculously easy to develop for. Even if PS4 becomes easier for indies to make games on, which is great, Ouya will still be much more accessible due to the open-source nature of the platform.


That's why I'm developing for it.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@Spartan_418 Sony still is gonna charge indie developers thousands for their SDK so even if its easy it doesnt mean its gonna be feasible if finances are an issue.....

flamingboard
flamingboard

@Spartan_418 It seems like they learned their lesson from the difficultly developing for Cell. A lot of devs couldn't stand it since coding for it was so different from "standard" processors and comparing 360 to PS3 games there's nothing better about it. Why make programming so difficult when there's no obvious graphics or gameplay benefits?

flamingboard
flamingboard

@Toysoldier34 Just because they donated to KickStarter doesn't mean they will buy the end product if it doesn't meet expectations. It could be a piece of crap. No one knows since it isn't out yet.

Millard11
Millard11

@michyeosseo You can also use it as a dev kit. People who want to makes games or are making game and dont have anyone to produce them can put theirs games up and see what happens. EVeryone can try them for free and if they are good games the can buy them. It gives a lot of power to the indie developer. 

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@michyeosseo Price and the openness of the platform are the selling points. Unlike Microsoft and Sony who protect their systems and ban users who tamper. Ouya encourages users to use the device and enhance it.

ghostXzero
ghostXzero

@jdlloyd @ghostXzero but the name wii is better than ouya.  it's at least closer to pronunciation and the two ii resemble the controls.  ouya is completely random.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@flamingboard @Spartan_418 Game on the PS3 look much better than they can on the 360, they just take more work and need to be built from the ground up for it. Though there isn't much benefit overall for putting so much power into just the cpu with a weaker gpu with a gaming focus.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@flamingboard @Toysoldier34 People that donated to kickstarter get a system. It already has quite a lot pre-ordered through the kickstarter so there will be lots of users day one.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Spartan_418 @Toysoldier34 They are saying they built the system to be powerful and last with that as their focus and not prioritizing simplicity. They didn't develop the Cell for the single reason that it would be hard to use.

"Hirai continued, 'and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer.'"

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Spartan_418 @Toysoldier34 They didn't make it intentionally hard to use, no good designer would ever do that. They made it powerful which as a result made it difficult to use. The PS3's cpu was pretty powerful for its time if it could be fully used, but it wasn't worth taking the time to do so.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@Toysoldier34 If we're just comparing system exclusives, then yeah, the PS3 has a slight edge in graphics with Uncharted, Killzone and God of War.

The 360's best-looking games, which I'd say are Halo 4, Gears 3, Forza Horizon, and Alan Wake, look almost as good as those PS3 games, there's not a huge difference in quality.

Multiplats often look worse on PS3.

Sony intentionally made the Cell difficult to program for. They didn't want devs utilizing the full potential of the hardware right away, they wanted a gradual improvement in graphics over the years.