Online services for Razer’s Ouya and Forge TV services will shut down at the end of June, Razer announced today. The shutdown brings to an end the ambitious, turbulent, and mostly unsuccessful travails of the crowdfunded console for Android video games.
Ouya as a device was discontinued back in 2015, when Razer bought the startup company and merged its content library into Razer’s Forge microconsole ecosystem. While Ouya hung on as a brand name and publisher for Android games, Razer was supporting the online storefront with its Forge TV hardware. Now both are gone.
While the Ouya platform will still be able to play and discover games through the online service until June 25, 2019, after then is more uncertain. Downloaded games may still function after that date if they don’t require an online check-in at launch. “Contact the game developer for confirmation,” Razer says.
Owners of Forge TV and the MadCatz Mojo microconsole (which could play Ouya games and access its storefront) may still connect to the Google Play store and other platforms still in use. After the Ouya and Forge TV services are discontinued, it will be up to developers to shift their games to that or another service to ensure they’re still available and supported on the old hardware.
Ouya began life in 2012 and rode the early enthusiasm for Kickstarter video gaming projects to $8.5 million in crowdfunding, still the ninth-most all time for the decade-old funding platform. The console launched to the public on June 25, 2013 at a price of $99 and sold poorly.
Ouya was supplemented with $25 million in venture capital from 2013 to 2015, and the company’s sale was mainly so those investors could get something back for their money. Razer bought Ouya in June 2015, but it did not acquire the company’s hardware assets. The company later said it would pay about $600,000 that Ouya had left unpaid from its troubled “Free the Games” initiative, an effort to spur exclusive games development for the console which had a number of unintended consequences.
Ouya did have one hit game identified with its platform and brand — Matt Thorson’s TowerFall, which was later ported to PlayStation 4, Windows PC, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, the latter coming in 2018.