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Ouya’s US$8.5 million and the crowdfunding effect


Ouya’s US$8.5 million and the crowdfunding effect
By: Chan

13 AUG 2012
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Less than a week ago, crowdfunding site Kickstarter just concluded their biggest, most funded project: Open-sourced Android gaming console Ouya. With over US$8.5 million raised for the console in a month — more than eight times over the original expectations of a million — the project has been a smashing success and shows the power of crowdfunding.

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Whilst there will be challenges like piracy and attracting enough developers to come onboard the open source platform, there is little doubt that Ouya would be a boon to consumers and indie developers alike. At the very least, it will disrupt the gaming console market at it’s price point of US$99 per console, which has been dominated by Sony’s PS3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. With a content partnership with Vevo and exclusive games that have been announced for the platform, Ouya will be one to watch when it debuts in March 2012. Social media and the crowdfunding effect The most amazing thing about Ouya is not that the product is timely and obviously fills a need in the market space. It is that the project entirely circumvents traditional sources of funding and goes directly to the masses. Whilst governments and big multi-national corporates try to control conversations and markets with monopolies and leverage, social media, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are breaking down paradigms and building new products and services from the bottom-up. For consumers, indie developers, and anyone with a dream, using crowdfunding to fund your ideas have never been more possible.

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have never been more possible. For example, two games that would never be funded by big-wig studios — Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure and Brian Fargo’s Wasteland 2 — got multi-million dollar funding on Kickstarter this year. Both games are in genres that are “not commercial” enough for a mainstream publisher to take up, with Double Fine Adventure being an adventure game and Wasteland 2 being an old-school RPG. It’s the existence of crowdfunding platforms that allow such games — that passionate fans and developers care deeply about — to be made. Watch:

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Of course, crowdfunding is not limited to games. It extends into any creative idea — music, film, technology, etc. — and a brief stop at Kickstarter will show you the thousands of different projects that under way there. For example, Penny Arcade, the iconic gaming webcomic strip, is “selling out” by asking fans to fund them so that they don’t have to run ads on their website. And it has worked as they have already hit their targets and are working on stretch goals now.

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Of course, crowdfunding is not just on Kickstarter. There are other sites out there like IndieGogo and Quirky that do the same thing. In Singapore, there’s even ToGather.Asia, a local start-up that hopes to be the Kickstarter for Asia. Like more general applications of social media, crowdfunding is quickly maturing. And just like Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and Wikileaks, you can bet that crowdfunding will disruptively change the world. Count on it.
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Tagged in: Gaming, social media, android, Crowdfunding, open source, Ouya,

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