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Roy Bahat: Ouya store should be organized by fun, not revenue

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The digital store for the Ouya platform should pick its featured games not by their revenue or total downloads, but by their capacity for fun, company chairman Roy Bahat explained during a recent SXSW Interactive panel.

At the panel, titled "Indy Gaming: Why Publishers Must Evolve or Die," Bahat addressed issues with the iOS App Store and Google Play, where titles are featured either by editor's choice, or by an algorithm which takes each game's profitability and success into account. This issue is problematic for a number of reasons, Bahat argued, the most serious of which being developers are forced to spend a large portion of their budgets on gaming the system to get their titles in one of the lucrative top spots.

It's a problem Bahat hopes to address with the Ouya's version of a virtual marketplace.

"We've tried to reduce a lot of things to simple principles, and one of the simple principles is unlike every other game platform, the way that finding a game on a platform ought to work is that the games that are most heavily displayed are the ones that are making the users have the most fun," Bahat said. "As opposed to the ones that are downloaded the most often, or generate the most revenue, or any of a variety of other metrics you can think of, it ought to just be how many people are having how much fun.

"We have to find a way to measure that, maybe play time, but if we can do that, hopefully we can make it less expensive to market and have those resources go towards making actual content," Bahat added.

The Ouya store officially launched last week, and developers who upload their titles will have them available when the console ships to Kickstarter backers starting March 28.