Ouya CEO: "We've made a lot of mistakes"

Julie Uhrman recalls struggles during first year.

During Ouya's first year on the market, the company made many mistakes and more are likely to happen, CEO Julie Uhrman said during the XOXO Festival recently.

"We're a new company. We are a dirty company. We make a ton of mistakes. Let me count the ways," she said in a presentation now available on YouTube (via Polygon).

One "highlight," Uhrman said, was failing to deliver Ouya units to backers on time. The first consoles made it to supporters on schedule, but some backers had to wait more than a month for their delivery. Uhrman said previously that she was "pissed" about this.

When Ouya units did make it to users, some controllers had thumbsticks that didn't work and some action buttons got stuck, she said. On top of this, the WiFi feature for some Ouya units was shoddy, Uhrman said, and some controllers were laggy.

Another mistake Uhrman admitted to involved a tweet the company sent out about The Dragon, Cancer, a 2014 Ouya-exclusive game that details a family's personal struggle with childhood cancer. Ouya's tweet about the game coming exclusively to Ouya ended with "Get some."

Uhrman also addressed the controversial Free The Games Fund, which offered fund matching if developers agreed to at least time-exclusivity on the Ouya platform. "We so did not think about all the different ways that people could take advantage of that kind of program," she said.

There was also the vomit-fuelled Ouya advertisement that poked fun at $60 games, which drew controversy over its over-the-top usage of puke.

"We have done a lot of things wrong. We've made a lot of mistakes, and I think one thing that's really unique about us is that we're going to continue to make them," Uhrman said. "We're young, we're scrappy, we're moving fast. We're building this product in the open with you. We got our start with you. We get better every day because we listen to you. Some things are going to resonate and some things aren't going to resonate."

The Ouya microconsole officially launched in June. It has not been announced how many units have been sold to date.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
219 comments
circuitc99
circuitc99

Does OUYA suck as a GAMING console---YES----But for Media streaming---It beats the Apple TV all day long-----Most people don't know that it can be used to stream through XBMC in 1080p

soulless4now
soulless4now

It was a mistake when it was announced. 

Zoza24
Zoza24

Ouya wasn't going to take off period!. We have better consoles that play better quality games.

Ouya developers better be of sharing their development tools for games to indies and let them develop games on other consoles that have a bigger market then their fail console.

They can always try, or die trying.

HybridKing
HybridKing

Didn't even know this thing existed...

Breyant
Breyant

Hey they get an A for effort, too bad they have a shit product that no one really wants...

jhcho2
jhcho2

1. A console to play 'mobile' games in an immobile way at home
2. A segregated Android ecosystem which is different from the Android ecosystem most of my mobile games come from
3. Have to repurchase or replay my games if any at all
4. A controller to play games which were made for touch controls

Those were the mistakes made. Ouya is a mistake.

KelboDelta
KelboDelta

let me see, pay $100 dollars to play android games I play on my android phone on a big tv where my console is? and on top of that, it's not a regular android, it's a customized in-house fork of android, which means it is separate from the google play store... No thanks.

It was interesting when I thought it was running the same android cell phones have (customized for the box it is), with the same apps, games and everything... I even have games I bought on the cell phone, but that is a separate purchase as far as I know.... and again, no thanks.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

sucks but thats the reality of the business

Romayo83
Romayo83

I didn't even know this was released. wow

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

I don't see any reason to buy Ouya. Why waste U$100,00 on a shit hardware that has almost no game? If you want indie games there is no better platform than PC and you just have spend U$50,00 on controller.

danusty
danusty

what I want is a mini CONSOLE that plays all of the google play market games and other apps.

hystavito
hystavito

"some backers had to wait more than a month for their delivery"

What an understatement.  From the time they started shipping the first batches, many people waited several months to get theirs, and some people still haven't received it.  On top of that, many people said the service was terrible when reporting mistakes in the shipments or asking about where their unit was.  Anyone who's interested go have a browse through some of the comments on the KS page.  Overall it wasn't just bad, it was terribly bad.

AMG
AMG

One of the worst things they did (in my eyes) was announce that they were going to release new hardware annually. That killed any interest I had in the machine right off the bat.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Hmm, they better get their business right before the competition steps in and finish them off. 8-\

hadlee73
hadlee73

They forgot things like "Minecraft is going to be on it" but not specifying when hell freezes over :P

iamllamapie
iamllamapie

I play my Wii more often than my Ouya

Hurvl
Hurvl

"We're young, we're scrappy" Well, they better not be Scrappy from Scooby Doo, because no one liked him. He even got a less-than-charming tv trope named after him.

Rock, Paper Shotgun made an article where they detailed how stupid and counterproductive the Free the Games Fund was, so I hope they read that or got to know it otherwise. Indie games that cost 50 000? Even 10 000 is a ridiculous amount and that they never talked to indie devs about the conditions shows how inexperienced and ignorant they are

nurnberg
nurnberg

Ouya CEO: "We've fucked up"

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

This is what happens when you get a company completely funded from people hoping it'll be as impressive as they said in their ridiculous 10 minute "look at how laid back and amazingly cool our company is" video. It's clear that this company is much too unprofessional to properly manage the release of something as huge as a gaming console. These guys really disappointed me and have made me lose all my faith in the project. However when it took 2 months longer to receive the console I already lost a lot of faith in it...

beyond_17
beyond_17

Ouya CEO: "We've made a lot of mistakes"

LOL! You dont say

svdbygrce02
svdbygrce02

Who wants to play shovelware on a TV?

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

The first mistake was thinking you could compete with the big boys. It's not easy competing in gaming hardware, that's why there is usually just 3 companies doing it.

TwilightPhoenix
TwilightPhoenix

These stunts kind of remind me of Acclaim back in the day when it still existed.

Tekcor
Tekcor

This really was a trainwreck of a product, through and through.

AK1015
AK1015

Ooh, yah... (get it?) I'm not interested in this thing yet...

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

And your biggest mistake is creating this "console" in the first place.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Yep, and until this article I genuinely thought it had rightfully sunk without a trace too.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Mistakes like everyone else. Apple is winning by miles the race of game industry. Another companies are desperate

Catz_03
Catz_03

Yea, one of those mistakes was make an Ouya.

blackace
blackace

@dr_jashugan They are already done. I don't know how much money they made from the system sales, but they didn't deliver on all their promises. They didn't engrave the controller or systems properly. Someone just wrote on it with a marker or something like that. It's hilarious.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@SurlyPotato ... because they know in their hearts that Ouya is a great product with lots of untapped potential, a rough diamond? Yes, I'm sure that's what you meant :P.

blackace
blackace

@TwilightPhoenix At least Acclaim had a few gems hidden in with all the garbage. NBA Jam, Turok, MK2, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, Re-Volt, etc..

rolla020980
rolla020980

@Diegoctba 

Yeah? What's their console called? Sitting in your chair with an iPhone playing Angry Birds is what we call passing the time, not gaming.

I have nothing against Apple, but they are not a gaming company.

allever
allever

@Catz_03 What's so bad about that? We shouldn't try to change the status quo?? 

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@allever @Sun-Tzu-GE yes you can, it's extremely unprofessional and immoral to have such a poorly managed company; yet make tons of promises to people who are aching for the next gen consoles and want something to tide them over in the meantime, and they steal their money with a poorly manufactured and developed product that doesn't have anywhere near the functionality they claimed it would upon release. As well as the many failures with hardware and the operating system... it's all just ridiculous.

DWalker131
DWalker131

@Andrex1212 immoral ? thats abit harsh, its their first attempt be easy on them ay lol. i think people who picked this console had very specific reasons why they picked it up (e.g its fully moddable they encouraged it, even gave you tools to open it up without breaking warrenty etc, its android, so it plays all the android exclusives that aren't available on ps3/4 and xbox360/1 and hate to admit it but ANGRY BIRDS was ginormous when this idea was out, yeah i know it sounds sick now but back then ANGRY BIRDS on a 50 in fully HD tv sounded like a good idea lol, it was also advertised that its smaller then a coke can, which is very portable, it had google playstore (which some people said the games aren't transferable from your mobile/tab to console, i can't comment on that coz i'm not 100% sure on that, but it would fail if you can't) Android has a HUGE fanbase and also its $100 which is waaaaaay cheaper then any console portable or not, it was the underdog of consoles, but it failed, so i can't defend it too much, but i will credit them for being different, having a vision and going for it, better luck next time round

allever
allever

@Andrex1212 @allever @Sun-Tzu-GE Considering it's a new company.. You can't honestly think everything will be perfect for them.  That's just nonsense.  If it were Sony, Microsoft, etc.. then I would agree with you, but this is not the case.. this is a startup.