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Ouya introduces All-Access Pass: $60/year for all Ouya games

Apr 8, 2011
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Ouya's relationship with developers is about to hit zero.

If they aren't sued into oblivion (assuming their publishing agreements are bulletproof) then very few developers will want to work with someone who changed their business model without informing developers and introducing some sort of "opt-in" option which would be rolled out months in advance.

I can't believe they thought that this would be okay. Ouya just shot themselves in the foot - and I'm not using this meme as a joke.
 

Ogawa-san

Member
Jun 29, 2009
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It doesn't seem they're screwing devs.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/219939/Ouya_tests_allyoucaneat_subscription_program.php
A developer has provided Gamasutra with an email from Ouya's developer relations team that explains the new pilot program -- a which it calls a "very limited test" of "an all-you-can-eat, everything-is-free, 12-month game subscription." Another Ouya developer confirmed to us that they got the same email.

According to the email, developers will be compensated as normal when these "all-you-can-eat" users "purchase" their games; the wording suggests that in-app purchases of consumable items are not included as free "purchases" during this test-run. There is no information in the email about the price of the subscription to the Ouya owners who take part in it, nor how widespread the test will be.
 

Alchemy

Member
Sep 1, 2008
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Hmm interesting. Maybe their thinking is that players are unlikely to spend more than $60 a year on Ouya games and this way they can maximize profits. Could work out for them, who knows.
Their thinking is "OH GOD NO ONE IS SPENDING ANY MONEY ON OUYA SOFTWARE."

Ouya is basically trying to get people to spend $60, where they're not spending anything right now. I know I've only bought Ouya games when they've given me free money to do so. $60 for everything is better then $0 for nothing for them, the only question is what kind of a cut developers get from this.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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Changing the business model to a subscription basis without asking is "screwing devs." It devalues the software.

What happens when a user downloads more than $60 worth of Ouya games? The Polygon article says that they'll remove users that abuse the program; what does that mean?

EDIT: Polygon says

And Ouya reserves the right to disqualify any game or customer that the company feels "is abusing the system during the duration of this program."
What does this mean? From a consumer standpoint this is sketchy. From a developers side this is super unprofessional.
 

Sorcerer

Member
Jul 4, 2012
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My take is they are trying to stop Ouya from being the hacked/emulation/media center box.

Nobody is buying games on this thing and they want people to realize they have games to buy

They are probably not taking a loss because nobody is buying the games anyway, but this sucks for developers..
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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Yeah this is definitely screwing devs because they never agreed to it.
The devs are getting paid any time someone downloads their game, as if they bought it directly.

At most the annoyance is that it could change how people view OUYA. A big chunk of the userbase might hear about this plan and have it make them weary of paying for software they may end up getting soon as part of a sub.

However to some extent that is part of selling software on a 3rd parties platform. Not every developer probably loves that "Free" PSN/XBL games compete for customer's time in the hobby either.

hardcastlemccormick said:
What does this mean? From a consumer standpoint this is sketchy. From a developers side this is super unprofessional.
I took that as:

They are paying devs for every game downloaded by users of this subscription. So if a dev is encouraging people to download their game, they might step in and do something about both the developers and the people who may have agreed to spam download stuff.

Could also be for people who decide to download every single game "just because;" but I think it's more likely similar to how Google AdSense bans web sites that encourage spam clicking.
 

HUELEN10

Member
Feb 29, 2008
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Changing the business model to a subscription basis without asking is "screwing devs." It devalues the software.

What happens when a user downloads more than $60 worth of Ouya games? The Polygon article says that they'll remove users that abuse the program; what does that mean?

EDIT: Polygon says



What does this mean? From a consumer standpoint this is sketchy. From a developers side this is super unprofessional.
Absolutely nailed everything, this is some grade-A bullshit.
 

NullPointer

Member
May 4, 2006
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I took that as:

They are paying devs for every game downloaded by users of this subscription. So if a dev is encouraging people to download their game, they might step in and do something about both the developers and the people who may have agreed to spam download stuff.
Spam download? Whats the difference between that and taking full advantage of your subscription?

What does this mean? From a consumer standpoint this is sketchy. From a developers side this is super unprofessional.
Good question.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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I took that as:

They are paying devs for every game downloaded by users of this subscription. So if a dev is encouraging people to download their game, they might step in and do something about both the developers and the people who may have agreed to spam download stuff.

Could also be for people who decide to download every single game "just because;" but I think it's more likely similar to how Google AdSense bans web sites that encourage spam clicking.
I'm assuming it's an "all you can eat buffet," except that it's not actually all you can eat and they will kick you out eventually. Okay, so we can wait until they announce their limits.

Maybe Ouya will cap it off at $100 or $200 worth of software. But now there's a discrepancy in price: users buy $100 of games for $60. How much do developers make? This is a year-long program, so what happens to the developers at the end of the year when everybody's been paid at the beginning of the year? Is this a perpetual sale fraction? Oh man if I were a dev I would be furious if Ouya perpetually lowered the price of my game.

The big message that this tells me? Ouya doesn't plan on living past the end of 2014.
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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Spam download? Whats the difference between that and taking full advantage of your subscription?
Developers get paid for downloads in this scheme.

Netflix pays studios when their content is watched too. I'm sure they have language in their claiming they can and will ban anyone participating in purposefully scamming the system. Basically you can't encourage people to merely click things to help you out.

Remember the article about the artist on Spotify that uploaded blank songs and encouraged users to stream them in the background? That type of thing.
 
Aug 19, 2006
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This could get rather expensive for them if everyone decides to download everything, assuming Ouya has active users.
 

riotous

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Jan 10, 2014
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I'm assuming it's an "all you can eat buffet," except that it's not actually all you can eat and they will kick you out eventually. Okay, so we can wait until they announce their limits.

Maybe Ouya will cap it off at $100 or $200 worth of software. But now there's a discrepancy in price: users buy $100 of games for $60. How much do developers make? This is a year-long program, so what happens to the developers at the end of the year when everybody's been paid at the beginning of the year?

The big message that this tells me? Ouya doesn't plan on living past the end of 2014.
It says the developers are getting paid as if the people bought the software.

I think your assumption is bad IMO. It's more likely there to cover the chance of actual abuse. Developers uploading fake games or encouraging "fake buys" from people who don't care since they already paid for a sub.

OR they are planning on robbing developers and releasing a fake service that isn't really unlimited. Which is your assumption.

Possible, but not probable IMO. I think it is probable they might ban extreme downloaders, simply because they can't afford it. But that's because they can't screw the devs, they have to pay them. If lots of people start costing OUYA 100's of dollars in downloads they probably want to reserve the right to just kill accounts or the program in general. Until they have a real revenue sharing agreement in place, they'll have to legally rely on just paying devs for now.
 

DrZeus

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Jun 5, 2013
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Love my Ouya for xbmc, but can't see myself spending 60 bones to do anything on it unless the software library gets incredibly interested asap.
 

NullPointer

Member
May 4, 2006
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Remember the article about the artist on Spotify that uploaded blank songs and encouraged users to stream them in the background? That type of thing.
Huh. Gotcha.

You'd need to have some system in place if you could ever end up paying devs more than you're taking in from the subs. If Ouya is indeed paying off devs in full when their games are played by subscribers - which honestly doesn't make much sense to me.

60 dollars a year to play already free games.
My first reaction too, but in the article it talks about premium games going for $1 to $20. But hey, going with current nomenclature, those games are now free as well, with your paid subscription.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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It says the developers are getting paid as if the people bought the software.
Where does that money come from?

Like, if I'm an Ouya user who gets this subscription, you bet your ass I'm downloading more than $60 worth of software to get my money's worth.
 

riotous

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Jan 10, 2014
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Huh. Gotcha.

You'd need to have some system in place if you could ever end up paying devs more than you're taking in from the subs. If Ouya is indeed paying off devs in full when their games are played by subscribers - which honestly doesn't make much sense to me.
Well that could be the other reason for the wording.

OUYA plans on eventually having a real plan like this, with a revenue sharing model that doesn't pay the developers out their normal full cut.

Rather than design that into this small program, they are just doing a pilot and paying devs as usual. Hence the kill switch option on the accounts.

But they'd need language about abuse no matter what, since as I mentioned, there also would just outright be ways of abusing such a system.
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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Where does that money come from?
OUYA stands to potentially lose money. They likely are prepared for the investment, but also likely have limits, hence their "cover their ass" wording in the agreement.

It's likely an experiment where they could then use it to predict an actual possible revenue sharing model. Until they see how much software the average person downloads on such a plan, they'd have trouble estimating how much to pay out devs for downloads.

When a real revenue sharing model is put into place, devs would likely have to opt in. But this could be an EXTREMELY limited program. Maybe 1,000 people. And OUYA has a few thousand dollars set aside to pay out devs in case it ends up costing them more than $60k in software. Maybe even well under 1,000 people.

A bigger problem might be this news leaking all over the internet stunting OUYA software sales. But I know nothing of how well OUYA is doing.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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OUYA stands to potentially lose money. They likely are prepared for the investment, but also likely have limits, hence their "cover their ass" wording in the agreement.

It's likely an experiment where they could then use it to predict an actual possible revenue sharing model. Until they see how much software the average person downloads on such a plan, they'd have trouble estimating how much to pay out devs for downloads.

When a real revenue sharing model is put into place, devs would likely have to opt in. But this could be an EXTREMELY limited program. Maybe 1,000 people. And OUYA has a few thousand dollars set aside to pay out devs in case it ends up costing them more than $60k in software. Maybe even well under 1,000 people.

A bigger problem might be this news leaking all over the internet stunting OUYA software sales. But I know nothing of how well OUYA is doing.
I'd like to give Ouya the benefit of the doubt here, but the way they rolled out this program indicates a premature business decision made by people who don't really know what they're doing, or if they do, how to communicate it. If neither the developers nor your customers fully understand your plan, you fucked up.

There's also the likely possibility that Ouya probably won't survive to the end of this 12 month plan that is even more troubling.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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Remember when industry analysts / stock brokers were saying Nintendo should have bought the Ouya?
A brief Google suggests that this was limited to Dean Takahashi only, and that the claim was at the time expressed as "The Wii U has bad design, Nintendo's got to get with the program" and then he spitballed buying an Android hardware company to be able to enter mobile, including Ouya--along with spitballing exiting hardware and just doing software.
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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If neither the developers nor your customers fully understand your plan, you fucked up.
Well it is a bit amateur, but developers were sent emails from OUYA developer relations. I didn't see anywhere indicating when this occurred; it could have been well ahead of time or at the time of release I don't know.

But they were ensured they'd be paid normally for the content downloaded as if it was full price. Obviously developers who hadn't gotten this e-mail were a bit more concerned, lol.

There's also the likely possibility that Ouya probably won't survive to the end of this 12 month plan that is even more troubling.
Certainly possible.
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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Netflix is $8 a month.
Netflix isn't rendering a game for you in real time on their servers. PS Now has to stream you video, while encoding that video on the fly, with the source of that video being a game that takes (at least part of) a GPU and multiple CPU threads to render. And none of it can be buffered, so it's a constant use of the connection from the client to server.

Netflix can centralize their servers far more as latency is almost meaningless to a streaming video service.

Streaming video services do not come close to comparing to the architecture and running costs of something like PS Now. That's not even getting into the difference in the general price of the products being streamed.
 

Alchemy

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Sep 1, 2008
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If Sony was smart, PS Now wouldn't be either.
Completely depends on what Sony's goal is for PS Now. If the idea is pure revenue strictly generated by PS Now, sure. But if the idea is to leverage it as a service to help push their other products (TVs, consoles, etc.) then it would be a horrible idea. Maybe Sony wants to get people into their console ecosystem (and to try to convert PS Now subscribers to software purchasers), and views PS Now as an additional service to help that.
 
Apr 8, 2011
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Well it is a bit amateur, but developers were sent emails from OUYA developer relations. I didn't see anywhere indicating when this occurred; it could have been well ahead of time or at the time of release I don't know.

But they were ensured they'd be paid normally for the content downloaded as if it was full price. Obviously developers who hadn't gotten this e-mail were a bit more concerned, lol.

Certainly possible.
As a developer AND a consumer I'd still be wondering where this money's coming from. At least from a consumer point of view I'm not automatically in the program though. Developers have to deal with their software's immediate devaluation.

I wonder how many people have spent $60 on Ouya software.
I'd happily buy Amazing Frog? multiple times.

On the positive side, this might chase the Amazing Frog? devs to port their game to something else

EDIT: Damn, this bit of news can't even stay on the front page.
 

riotous

Banned
Jan 10, 2014
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As a developer AND a consumer I'd still be wondering where this money's coming from.
Well OUYA likely hopes it'll average out to be covered by the $60 plans.

They likely have data from the last year of OUYA use suggesting average user hasn't come close to spending $60 on software. They know "Free" encourages downloading but probably hope it's curbed by the fact people only have so much time to actually play games. And then again there's always the chance that language about abuse could be used if someone does download far more than they could conceivably play.

Either way, they are advertising it as for a limited time and number. For all we know this could be a VERY small number considering not much is known about the OUYA userbase in general. It could be a statistically insignificant number and then disappear from their store in a matter of days or even hours. Just significant enough for OUYA to get meaningful plan usage data but not significant enough to be a concern for developers or the ability for OUYA to cover costs if people go wild downloading software.