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Report: Ouya Looking To Sell Quickly To Pay Off Mounting Debt

According to an email allegedly sent by Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman this month, the company responsible for the eponymous microconsole needs to find a buyer quickly. Ouya originally raised $ 8.6 million via Kickstarter within July and August 2012.

Today’s news comes via a report from Fortune, which says it has obtained a copy of a confidential email sent to investors. 

The company later received funding from a variety of venture capital sources and, most recently, received $ 10 million from Chinese set-top box provider Alibaba. Even after a move into a service architecture called Ouya Everywhere that brought the company’s games to the Madcatz Mojo Android handheld, players didn’t warm up.

Just a month after that announcement, we learned that the best selling game on the platform had only moved 7,000 copies. This follows a report in mid-2013 that stated that users were only upgrading from trials to full, paid games at a rate of 8 percent.

Ouya also misstepped with a development incentive program that offered little monetary reward and demanded onerous exclusivity periods. The "Free the Games Fund" was also criticized for potentially incentivizing cheating of the Kickstarter system by offering a $ 100,000 bounty for the program that raised the most funding.

We’ve reached out to Ouya for comment on its financial position and clarification of the details revealed in the Fortune report. We’ll update should we receive a response.

Update: An Ouya representative responded to our inquiry. The company has no comment at this time.

[Source: Fortune]

 

Our Take
While the demise of Ouya would not be a surprise, the company finding a willing buyer might be (at least at the level Ouya hopes). The company has a series of failures to its name, with a consumer base disinclined to spend and smart developers steering clear. Perhaps there is some value in the technology that a larger company could put to good use, but the platform and connected distribution service have been deemed worthless by the end-user market.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: Call Of Duty: Black Ops III Release Date Leaks

We may be a couple of days away from Activision and Treyarch's big reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, but we may have an early look at the release date.

According to an image obtained by Kotaku, Black Ops III is scheduled to release on November 6. The promotional card from GameStop also says that there will be a beta test on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC that will be accessible to those who pre-order the game. 

To this point, we've seen a teaser trailer that hints at a futuristic world with robotic body modifications, but real details have been scarce. The world reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops III is currently scheduled for Sunday, April 26.

Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer.

[Source: Kotaku]

 

Our Take
The first real details on Call of Duty: Black Ops III are hitting this weekend, so it's likely we'll hear more then. November is typically when Call of Duty games release, so this date certainly would make sense.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: Original Gears Of War Coming To Xbox One

Between Halo's Master Chief Collection and the fact that a new Gears of War game is currently being developed by Black Tusk Studios, fans have been clamoring for a Marcus Fenix Trilogy release that would include remastered versions of Gears of War 1, Gears of War 2, and Gears of War 3 on Xbox One. While a new report won't quite satisfy those fans, it does indicate that Xbox One owners will have the opportunity to play a remastered edition of the original Gears of War.

An unnamed source has told Polygon that Microsoft and Black Tusk are working on remastered edition of the original Gears of War. The remastered version is said to feature enhanced visuals and cutscenes that have been remade by animation studio Plastic Wax.

The original game released on Xbox 360 in 2006, meaning that much like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the remastered version of Gears of War could be in development to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the game.

We have reached out to Microsoft for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

[Source: Polygon]

 

Our Take
We expect to hear more about the upcoming Gears of War at June's E3. If this news ends up being true and we see a Gears of War Anniversary release on Xbox One in 2016, that could point to the new Gears of War game releasing beyond next year, which will disappoint many fans. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: Layoffs strike Disney’s Club Penguin

Disney Interactive has reportedly laid off a number of people who work on its decade-old MMO game/world Club Penguin this week across offices in Los Angeles, England and Canada. …


Gamasutra News

Report: China now leads the world in downloading iOS apps

The latest report from mobile analytics firm App Annie shows China finally surpassing the U.S. in terms of iOS app downloads, though not in revenue. …


Gamasutra News

Report: What really killed Darkside’s deal to remake Phantom Dust

A new Kotaku report aims to shed light on what happened to the deal between Darkside & Microsoft to develop a Phantom Dust remake, & how unreasonable publisher expectations nearly destroyed a studio. …


Gamasutra News

Report: Driveclub Developer To Lose Half Its Staff

The recently announced layoffs at Driveclub developer Evolution Studios in England may have cut the number of employees at the company in half, according to a report.

Eurogamer talked to two independent sources "close to the studio," who total the losses at 55 staff members – half the studio.

One source told the site that some of the employees may return as contractors, but no decisions have been made.

Last week it was announced that Evolution Studios would be downsizing and focusing on the franchise "as a service," including the release of the long-delayed free PlayStation Plus edition.

When we originally contacted Sony with a request for further elaboration on the layoffs, the company did not respond.

[Source: Eurogamer]

 

Our Take
While it's easy to see these layoffs as a punitive measure for the game's launch, the larger context is Sony's wider financial troubles. Unfortunately, it puts the Sony and the PS4 in a bad spot. Diminishing the capacity of a first-party developer only reduces the chances of getting a successful project – something that Sony needs, as gaming remains the lone bright spot for the company.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Report: Layoffs Hit Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

Reports are surfacing that Driveclub developer Evolution Studios is being downsized by Sony. The news comes as the title gets on its feet after an exceedingly rough launch.

According to Eurogamer, Sony’s European arm has confirmed the layoffs and shift in focus for the studio. We’ve reached out to our contacts here in North America for more information.

Remaining Evolution employees will continue to support Driveclub as a service and work toward completing the long overdue PlayStation Plus edition. Some employees will be placed elsewhere at Sony.

We’ll update should we receive more information. For the latest on Driveclub, check out our impressions of the game following many months of repairs.

[Source: Eurogamer]

 

Our Take
Despite the success of the PlayStation 4, Sony is in difficult financial waters. Unfortunately, that means that studios are not insulated from cutbacks, especially following a launch as terrible and high profile as Driveclub’s. 

While this isn’t unexpected, it’s never pleasant when we have to report on people out of work. Hopefully, Sony will be able to find placements for a significant number of those affected.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Super Replay – Michigan: Report From Hell Episode 4

Grasshopper Manufacture has a long history of developing oddball games. Before there was Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes, and Killer7, the studio made a little something called Michigan: Report from Hell. It was never released in the U.S., in spite of being localized for Europe and Australia. Did players over here miss out? You'll have to watch…

Join Tim, Reiner, Joe, and me as we learn about what it's like to be a TV-news cameraman during a monster outbreak. Apparently, part of the job is to keep both hands on the camera, no matter what – you can forget about opening doors. To make matters worse, your audio guy insists on making himself (and his boom mic) part of the story. Fortunately, Tim found a wonderful way to release a little steam, which he does again and again and again and again.

Enjoy!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more episodes of Replay, visit our hub below.


www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Super Replay – Michigan: Report From Hell Episode 3

Grasshopper Manufacture has a long history of developing oddball games. Before there was Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes, and Killer7, the studio made a little something called Michigan: Report from Hell. It was never released in the U.S., in spite of being localized for Europe and Australia. Did players over here miss out? You'll have to watch…

Join Tim, Reiner, Joe, and me as we learn about what it's like to be a TV-news cameraman during a monster outbreak. Apparently, part of the job is to keep both hands on the camera, no matter what – you can forget about opening doors. To make matters worse, your audio guy insists on making himself (and his boom mic) part of the story. Fortunately, Tim found a wonderful way to release a little steam, which he does again and again and again and again.

Enjoy!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more episodes of Replay, visit our hub below.


www.GameInformer.com – The Feed