OUYA's Kellee Santiago talks game publishing, her new role as Head of Developer Relations

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OUYA's Kellee Santiago talks game publishing, her new role as Head of Developer Relations

When Kellee Santiago resigned from her previous gig as president of thatgamecompany, she left behind a job running one of the most highly acclaimed indie game studios in the industry. But she left on a high note, having helped craft Journey -- not just one of the best games of 2012, but a high mark on the medium. Her next move is similarly bold, taking the reins of the Android-powered OUYA console's digital content library as "Head of Developer Relations." On Santiago's LinkedIn profile, she describes her new job as, "curator of content for the games section on OUYA" (among other things); a job she's plenty qualified for given her time on the board of the Indie Fund (an angel investment group of successful indie game devs). "This role seems almost like a logical extension of everything I've done up to this point," Santiago told us in an email interview this afternoon. Indeed it does. In her new role at OUYA, Santiago will be "working with many developers globally and in different capacities," she said, as well as managing the digital library that users at home see.

"I'm very passionate about empowering new voices in game development so we can have more variety in game content -- that's what initially led me to co-founding thatgamecompany, and Indie Fund, and working with the Independent Games Summit, and IndieCade," she added. The job of course includes courting devs, even if that means OUYA assists in the funding and publishing of those devs' games. "OUYA is doing both," Santiago told us -- that's no doubt assisted by the $8.5 million OUYA pulled in during its Kickstarter funding campaign.

Despite her passion for indies, she said there's no "arbitrary restrictions for developing on OUYA," and that her guiding principle is identifying, "developers and content that for whatever reasons wouldn't be able to exist on any other console." In other words, there's no reason one of the biggies -- think EA, Activision, Ubisoft and others -- couldn't get in on the action. Square Enix has already promised a variety of titles, so it seems a given that others will sign on. One developer who's still curiously uncertain about the console, however? Santiago herself. Though she teased on Twitter earlier today that she'll, "still be making stuff, too," and not to worry, she wouldn't offer us any more details about her plans for development on OUYA. Again, it seems a given, but we can't help but want to know more sooner than later.

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