More mainstream video game publishers are hopping onto Boxer8’s bandwagon. Last week Square-Enix committed support for the Google Android video game console Ouya, announcing a port of Final Fantasy III for the system’s 2013 release. Now Namco Bandai is looking to bring its games to the system.
Namco Bandai said on its Facebook page on Wednesday that it’s in talks with the Ouya team. What games Namco brings to the device is up to its fans. “Post up right here and let us know! Sky is the limit and the power is in your post. It could be any of our games, we just need to know what the COMMUNITY wants!”
Namco’s apparent desperation to be loved notwithstanding, it’s a sound way to gauge interest in the platform. As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign for Ouya has just hours to go before it completes its record-breaking round of fundraising. It set out to raise $950,000 for the Android console’s development but has so far raised nearly 9 times that amound, with the total nearing $8.2 million. With that kind of community clout going around, publishers are wise to keep a steady eye on just what people want for the machine. They are after all voting with their dollars.
So what are people calling for Namco Bandai to release on Ouya? Most of the company’s contemporary franchises—There are numerous requests for Soul Calibur, the Tales RPGs, Tekken X Street Fighter, Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Ridge Racer and even some requests for Ace Combat.
There are not, however, many requests for original content.
Therein lies the appeal of Ouya for many of the larger publishers. iOS and Android have given Japanese publishers struggling on home consoles an outlet for projects that are cheaper to develop and distribute. Square-Enix continues to struggle financially due to declines in its console business, but it’s doing quite well porting classic titles like Final Fantasy Tactics to mobile platforms. Ouya will allow these publishers to re-approach the living room from the same low-risk vantage, converting classic titles cheaply and selling them at a low cost for significant profits.
Namco, Square, and their contemporaries will run out of catalog titles at some point though. Will Ouya prove popular enough with consumers to warrant the development of original titles? Will it have enough horse power that these publishers can simultaneously develop titles for it and Nintendo’s Wii U, avoiding the high costs likely to attend development on Microsoft and Sony’s new high end consoles? 2013 will answer these questions.
Someone also asked Namco to release Klonoa 3 on Ouya.
It was me. I did that.