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access_time September 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM in News by Charlie Grammer

Developer admits to abusing Ouya’s Free the Games Fund

Ouya pulls funding from a studio that admits to taking advantage of fund.

Ouya pulls funding from a studio that admits to taking advantage of fund.

Ouya’s Free the Games Fund has been embroiled in controversy lately, and today it has only mounted as a developer has claimed that Ouya pulled funding for their title after the studio talked openly about how it was taking advantage of the fund.

The company, SuckerFree Games, initially raised over $5000 on Kickstarter for their title, Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus back in 2011. A series of unfortunate events struck the company, however, and they launched a new campaign last month, asking for $10,000 so that they could complete the game by PAX Prime 2014.

The company also tied the Kickstarter to Ouya’s program, hoping to obtain the required $50,000 in order to qualify. The project was holding below the $5000 mark until September 12, after which it jumped by more than $20,000. The very next day they pulled in just over $30,000, thus qualifying them to utilize Ouya’s fund.

They then admitted in the backers-only update that they gamed the system so that William McDonald could contribute to the campaign. Needless to say, this did not please Ouya, and McDonald ended up posting that they had to pull the campaign because Ouya refused to pay. He also claimed that Ouya is backing out on their word, stating, “It appears we were thrown under the [Free the Games] bus. Ouya gets their fall guy and [Gridiron Thunder, another controversial Free the Games title] keeps their money.”

His bitterness shows as he stated, “If we had remained silent we very likely would have received the funds; our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing.”

What are your thoughts on this development? Are you happy that they are at least stopping some, if not all, of the companies from abusing the fund? And should they investigate all controversial titles more closely?

Thanks, Polygon.


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