Ouya gives game developers the choice to offer free-to-try demos

Ouya's default free-to-try feature, which let gamers test titles before shelling out cash for the whole shebang, will no longer be a requirement starting in April, the company has revealed at the Game Developers Conference.

The company elaborated on its announcement via a blog post, published on Thursday, clarifying that it will soon let game developers choose if they want to offer a free-to-try demo. Previously, video games available for download on Ouya were also free to try. Not just a few games - but all games. From vintage titles to never-before-seen new ones, as well as genres ranging from shooters and action-adventures to RPG and sports games, gamers could dabble and discover as much as they wanted.

Now, however, Ouya has backtracked. The company said it originally offered the feature to maintain its "open platform" goal. It also knew gamers would love the chance to trial titles, but it appears most developers didn't like the stipulation. In fact, they had trouble meeting the requirement or just didn't want to offer a demo. This of course is bad news for Ouya, because it wants a full library of games and not just a few with appealing trials.

"So we found ourselves weighing one good thing against another. Do we support the awesome feeling of getting to try anything before you buy it, or do we make the pathway to publishing on the TV even easier for devs? It was a difficult choice," explained Ouya in its blog post. "We didn’t come to this decision unilaterally. Devs have been asking us for this choice for more than a year. We kept hearing the same things."

READ: Ouya wants an ecosystem, have its Android-based software on more devices

Developers told Ouya they wanted the freedom to choose. They wanted openness. They also didn't want to stifle their creativity by being forced to develop demos. And finally, some developers said demos weren't in their studios budget or that they didn't even know how to implement a good demo. Ouya heard all of these complaints, and it decided to clear "another roadblock in the pathway to publishing on the TV".

In other words, more games will now make it to the Android-based Ouya console (likely without demos in tow).



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