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Ouya CEO departs following Razer buyout

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Image used with permission by copyright holder
Gaming hardware manufacturer Razer has acquired Android microconsole maker Ouya in an all-cash deal, TechCrunch reports.

Razer now owns Ouya’s software assets as part of the agreement. Ouya’s long-suffering hardware business was not included as part of Razer’s buyout.

TechCrunch notes that Ouya’s technical and developer relations teams will likely assist in promoting and advancing Razer’s Android TV initiative. Specifically, acquired employees will be assigned to work on Razer’s Forge TV console and the Cortex gaming network and software platform.

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan confirmed with TechCrunch that the buyout was an all-cash purchase that saw the departure of Ouya’s initial investors. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman has also left the company in the wake of the purchase announcement.

“OUYA was a once in a lifetime experience. Now, I’m off to find the next…stay tuned!” Uhrman tweeted earlier today.

Ouya raised over $8.5 million from backers when it pitched its microconsole via Kickstarter, promising a cost-effective platform and a digital haven for independent developers. The Ouya launched at $100 in 2013 with dozens of games delivered via a digital storefront.

Releases for the Ouya dried up soon after the console’s launch, however. Despite efforts to reignite interest in the platform with promises of updated hardware and an all-access pass for its digital library, the Ouya never recovered from its initial missteps, leaving the company in search of a buyer earlier this year in order to recoup investor capital.

Razer CEO Tan assures Ouya owners that the console’s storefront will remain up and running over the next year as Razer builds up its own Android business.

“There are about 200,000 users on the OUYA platform and for the hardware users, we intend to, out of goodwill (as we didn’t acquire the hardware assets), keep the lights on for their gaming service for at least 12 months as we encourage them to migrate to the Razer service which will have a lot more features, new content and new games,” Tan said. “We will have more follow up announcements soon on the transition to the new service.”

Tan added: “The Ouya brand name will live on as a standalone gaming publisher for Android TV and Android based TV consoles.”

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