Recently, Gamasutra and Edge both followed up with Ouya developers approximately a month after the fledgling console's launch to see how software sales were doing. The numbers weren't pretty. Most developers even failed to break into the thousands of dollars, and those that did were usually on the low end of things.
When speaking with The Verge, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman tried to put things in a positive light. "Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected," Uhrman stated. "It takes time to build what traditional consoles have had decades to build. But really, I think it's too early to draw such broad sweeping statements about how a platform is going to perform."
She also pointed to examples of games like Towerfall and Hidden in Plain Sight, which yielded about $21,000 and $4,381, respectively, in sales. "To say developers can't make money on Ouya — I take offense to that," Uhrman said. "I'm sure the creators of TowerFall and Hidden in Plain Sight would take offense to that. The console has only been out for a month, and developers have only had access to the hardware for about 6 months. We really like what we see so far, and so do developers and gamers."
Uhrman also declared that 27 percent of Ouya gamers have paid for a game, which she claims is great for a free-to-play console. There's also an 8 percent conversion rate of gamers playing the free version of games and upgrading to paid. "These numbers will grow as more gamers pick up consoles, and as we attract more developers, and I believe that by the end of the year, we'll see a few developers telling us they've made more than a million dollars on Ouya."
That's a rather ambitious goal, considering that one of the Ouya's most successful games to date is Towerfall, which has sold a mere 2,000 copies. Considering that the success of a console is heavily dependent on software, a department in which the Ouya is still lacking, the Ouya better start courting developers now.
"Five days after launch, reviews came out and people were writing us off," she said. "If every company that got mixed results right out of the gate would have given up, we wouldn't have an iPhone, we wouldn't have an iPod." The difference is that the iPad sold over 300,000 units on the first day and the iPhone over 250,000 units in its first weekend.