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

Julie Uhrman recalls struggles during first year.

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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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    228 Comments  RefreshSorted By 

    Avatar image for 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

    Avatar image for Mraou
    << LINK REMOVED >> Can it play 10 bit MKV files over network share?
    Avatar image for soulless4now

    It was a mistake when it was announced.

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for HybridKing

    Didn't even know this thing existed...

    Avatar image for Breyant

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

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for jsmoke03

    sucks but thats the reality of the business

    Avatar image for Romayo83

    I didn't even know this was released. wow

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for danusty

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

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for dr_jashugan

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

    Avatar image for blackace

    << LINK REMOVED >> 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.

    Avatar image for hadlee73

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

    Avatar image for iamllamapie

    I play my Wii more often than my Ouya

    Avatar image for danusty

    << LINK REMOVED >> the regular wii is awesome

    Avatar image for Maverick6585

    How do you pronounce Ouya?

    Avatar image for blobby-blobby

    << LINK REMOVED >>


    Avatar image for DanielL5583

    << LINK REMOVED >> Ooh-yah

    Ooh as in boot, and yah as in yard.

    Avatar image for 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

    Avatar image for nurnberg

    Ouya CEO: "We've fucked up"

    Avatar image for blackace

    << LINK REMOVED >> Royally.

    Avatar image for 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...

    Avatar image for beyond_17

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

    LOL! You dont say

    Avatar image for svdbygrce02

    Who wants to play shovelware on a TV?

    Avatar image for Dumper1


    Avatar image for SurlyPotato

    And no one cares...

    Avatar image for Hurvl

    << LINK REMOVED >> ... 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.

    Avatar image for 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.

    Avatar image for TwilightPhoenix

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

    Avatar image for blackace

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

    Avatar image for Tekcor

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

    Avatar image for AK1015

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

    Avatar image for Mr_BillGates

    All them Droids funding this scam.

    Avatar image for Sun-Tzu-GE

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

    Avatar image for allever

    << LINK REMOVED >> You can't really blame them for at least trying.

    Avatar image for Andrex1212

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

    Avatar image for DWalker131

    << LINK REMOVED >>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

    Avatar image for allever

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

    Avatar image for danusty

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> your comment reminded me of the 1st few years of the 360

    Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

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