Nearly two years ago, I said that the Ouya could become the next Atari Jaguar. That system lasted about three years. The Ouya, for as much promise as it held, might not even get that far; Fortune is reporting that Ouya has found itself unable to restructure its debt, and as a result, the company needs to “quickly” find itself a buyer.
Fortune goes on to say that Mesa Global — the company that facilitated the sale of Songza to Google last summer — has been hired to locate a match for Ouya. That match, of course, will need to take on Ouya and also accept responsibility for the company’s debt. And I would be utterly shocked if that occurs.
Can you blame me, though? After all, this isn’t the first time Ouya has reportedly put itself up for sale — Re/code reported back in September that the company was shopping itself around, and the report suggested that the company had been in contact with some big names, like Google and Amazon. But seven months is a long time in the tech space, and Ouya hasn’t exactly been trending upward since then.
The closest fit for Ouya would probably be Amazon, and a portion of a leaked memo from Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman seems to share that sentiment:
We believe we’ve built something real and valuable. I continue to read the tweets and emails of our fans who play OUYA every day, and our catalog is now over 1,000 apps and 40,000 developers. We have the largest library of Android content for the TV (still more than Amazon) — hells ya!
If that isn’t a veiled pitch to Amazon, I don’t know what is. The company’s Fire TV product, also based on a fork of Android, does cross over into the space that Ouya occupies. The problem is, Amazon does hardware and software better than Ouya, and the larger library Ouya enjoys will eventually be dwarfed by Amazon’s, because Amazon has the money to make that happen.
So what happens if Ouya doesn’t find a buyer? It likely enters bankruptcy, and some companies swoop in to pick at any of the company’s perceived assets. There is a patent I find very interesting — one for an integrated touchpad on a game controller, but Sony seems to have one that predates that.
We’ll keep our ears to the ground on Ouya’s situation and report back when we learn more.