A new all-you-can-eat access service for Android console Ouya has caused consternation amongst developers.
The company has unveiled a new All-Access Pass which for a one-off payment of $59.99 grants users access to over 800 games available for the platform.
Ouya has stressed that this is not an annual subscription and is instead a one-time non-refundable payment. Once purchased the vast majority of Ouya shop content will be marked down to $0.00.
It only applies to games priced at under $30 and does not cover in-app purchases such as additional lives or power-ups. Furthermore, the company says it retains the right to disqualify games or customers that it believes are “abusing the system during the duration of this program”.
So why the controversy? It appears that Ouya didn’t bother to canvass opinion from the content creators whose content it is handing over.
If I sold anything on Ouya, I'd be pretty pissed off right now. Don't give away my games without my permission with _any_ pay model.— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) June 30, 2014
When a movie goes on Netflix, how does that affect your perception of its value?— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) June 30, 2014
Legalities aside; announcing a subscription model and opting-in all your devs w/out so much as getting their opinion = bad business.— Aaron San Filippo (@AeornFlippout) June 30, 2014
Gamasutra reports that developers will apparently still receive their regular 70 per cent of the full sale price for games that are downloaded under the scheme.
"Ouya All-Access is a pilot subscription program we're offering to new and existing Ouya users for a limited time only,” an Ouya rep told Polygon. “For the price of one console game, players receive access to the entire Ouya catalogue of more than 800 titles, for a full year. It's just one of many things we're exploring to give players the best value, and developers the best visibility.
“Results of this test will dictate if/how we proceed with an official subscription program."
In September last year Ouya attracted extensive criticism thanks to its Free The Games Fund, which was accused of encouraging shady crowdfunding tactics. An Ouya fansite then infuriated developers in December with a campaign that wanted to try and force an increase in Ouya ports.
Last month Ouya claimed that 1,000 new developers are joining the platform each month.