Ouya nears $5m on Kickstarter but are the lies catching up?

It’s only $45,000 off the magic $5,000,000 mark, but the questions hanging over the Ouya console project are only getting bigger.

Last week Ouya founder Julie Uhrman told MCV’s sister site Develop that the company would be seeking funding outside of Kickstarter.

This is a really big undertaking and it’s going to be expensive. We’re looking for additional funds of money but more importantly we wanted to take it to Kickstarter regardless.”

That’s a direct quote. The words weren’t twisted to suit an agenda.

So why did Uhrman then tell Eurogamer in response to our story that: "Let me be clear, Ouya is not seeking additional funding outside of Kickstarter. Our intent in going to Kickstarter was to raise money that would take us from functional prototype to product on the market."

That’s a direct quote. Hopefully the words weren’t twisted to suit an agenda.

Where does that leave us? Either there’s been a retroactive strategic realignment over the course of the last five days. Or Develop and/or Eurogamer were lied to.

We won’t go into the other questionable claims made in Ouya’s pitch – that’s been covered extensively elsewhere.

And let’s be clear – just as the enthusiasm for Ouya upon its unveiling was disproportionate in its adulation so too has the backlash to that been a bit heavy handed.

Claims that Ouya amounts to nothing more than a ‘scam’ are probably a bit strong (that statement could yet be proved incorrect, of course). But questions about the validity and, in particular, the security of an openly hackable Android platform designed for a TV and joypad are spot on.

The cold truth is that corporations live by PR and bad PR can sometimes involve lies. And despite its claims of open development and rights for workers and social evolution, Ouya is a moneymaking business. Or it at least hopes to be.

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