Friday, May 10, 2013

Ouya Gets Another $15M

Today in gaming: Julie Uhrman and the good people over at the OUYA camp have something to celebrate this morning. According to a press release issued by the company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- in conjunction with three other funding sources -- has provided $15 million in new funding to help develop new titles and grow the development community behind their new gaming console.

This is a huge cash injection for a company that started with an $8M+ Kickstarter success. But for gamers, this is a mixed bag.

On the one hand, this helps foster the success of an off-beat gaming console that gives gamers an alternative to the profit-mongering systems of Microsoft and Sony. However, it simultaneously introduces big corporations into their virgin soil.

Which big corporations, you ask? Well, KPC&B has a general partner by the name of Bing Gordon -- who, as a result of this deal, will now sit on the board of OUYA, Inc.

Why should this concern you?

Well, Bing was with EA Games for a long, long time. In fact, he was there when it began. And now EA Games is a hideous monstrosity, gobbling up independent game houses and destroying franchises one by one in an attempt to inflate it's stock price higher and higher.

Equally concerning, Bing Gordon sits on the board of Feel free to head over to and stare at their home page for about 30 seconds. Now ask yourself this: is this the home page of a gaming Web site or the home page of a corporate entity that wants to own your soul? Have you ever seen any other game Web site that looked like that? There are no game images; only a huge box asking for your personal information and offering you trinkets in return.

In the short term, I think this is going to make the launch of the OUYA a much better experience with tons more content for their system. The problem is, what will the long-term consequences be for a system that was proud to stand apart from the power-hungry giants? Will Gordon be content with the indie scene or will he put the Inc. in OUYA, Inc.?

We'll see.

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