The OUYA game console is shifting its launch from June 4th to June 25th, the company revealed in a press release this morning. Speaking with our friends at Joystiq, CEO Julie Uhrman explained the decision to push the console's retail launch back as a measure of keeping up with retail demand. "We've had incredibly positive reactions from our retail partners," Uhrman said. The date shift, "will allow us to create more units and, basically, have more units on store shelves."
The company also revealed that it's altering the existing controller's button holes to ensure that retail buyers don't run into the same sticking issue that Kickstarter backers have been dealing with. And despite those two pieces of news sounding an awful lot like they're connected (the delay and the controller alteration), Uhrman claims they're not. "We made that change very early so all the units are being produced with those larger button holes," she said. At this point, it's not clear if OUYA will hook up early backers with a new controller upon request (or perhaps just new faceplates), but we've asked for more information.
Alongside word of delays came the sunnier news that former EA exec Bing Gordon is joining OUYA's board of directors. He isn't being awarded the position solely for his decorated resume, however -- his employer, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, is one of several companies investing an additional $15 million of venture capital into OUYA. As you might imagine, he's pretty excited about advising OUYA (it'll be the seventh boards he sits on, including Zynga). "OUYA's open source platform creates a new world of opportunity for established and emerging independent game creators and gamers alike," he says in the release.
Not just venture capital firms are getting in on the $15 million investment; NVIDIA are also part of the group, further solidifying an already strong relationship between the two companies. As previously announced, the Android-powered $99 OUYA game console will be available at most major retailers, albeit a bit later than originally planned.
OUYA RAISES $15 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING; KLEINER PERKINS PARTNER AND
VIDEOGAME EXECUTIVE BING GORDON JOINS BOARD
Funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mayfield Fund, and Others Will Support OUYA's
Video Game Developer Ecosystem and Expand Production
LOS ANGELES – May 09, 2013 – Video game startup OUYA today announced $15 million in new funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), with participation from the Mayfield Fund, NVIDIA, Shasta Ventures, and Occam Partners. The company intends to use the additional funding to support OUYA's growing game development community, and meet increased demand for the upcoming retail launch. KPCB General Partner Bing Gordon will join the company's board of directors, which also includes Julie Uhrman, OUYA founder and CEO, and Roy Bahat, chairman of the Board.
OUYA's vision for a new kind of game console, open to all game developers, was brought to life through the support of early backers who crowdfunded the initial product development on Kickstarter.
The crowdfunding effort set Kickstarter records, and delivered $8.6 million –almost nine times the target raise -- signaling strong consumer demand for the console. Venture funding validates the business strategy.
"We want OUYA to be here for a long time to come," said Uhrman. "The message is clear: people want OUYA. We first heard this from Kickstarter backers who provided more than $8 million to help us build OUYA, then from over 12,000 developers who have registered to make an OUYA game, next from retailers who are carrying OUYA online and soon on store shelves, and now from top pioneering investors."
Before joining KPCB where Gordon is focused on digital investments, he was a long-time executive at Electronic Arts, beginning with EA's founding in 1982 which had initial funding from KPCB. As an OUYA board member, Gordon will advise the company as it scales its development community and executes its retail strategy and product development plans. Gordon also serves on the board of directors of Amazon, Klout, Lockerz, MEVIO, Zazzle and Zynga.
"OUYA's open source platform creates a new world of opportunity for established and emerging
independent game creators and gamers alike," said Gordon. "There are some types of games that can only be experienced on a TV, and OUYA is squarely focused on bringing back the living room gaming experience. OUYA will allow game developers to unleash their most creative ideas and satisfy gamers craving a new kind of experience."
OUYA's appeal lies in its unique philosophy within the console market. On OUYA, every game is free to try, and any developer can publish a game. OUYA is powerful enough to run 3D games in beautiful 1080p HD with its NVIDIA Tegra-3 processor, and open enough to invite game developers to bring their most creative inventions back to the television. More than 12,000 game creators worldwide have registered to make an OUYA game, from AAA studios to new entrants, including Square Enix, Inc., Double Fine Productions, Tripwire Interactive, Vlambeer, Kim Swift's Airtight Games, Mighty Rabbit Studios, nWay, Polytron Corporation, and many others.
OUYA is now shipping exclusively to early backers as part of a preview program. On June 25th, OUYA will be available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. through retailers Amazon, Best Buy, GAME, GameStop, and Target, and on OUYA.tv for $99.99. Additional controllers will retail for $49.99. Through these retailers, consumers can pre-order OUYA today.
OUYA is building a new kind of video game experience for the television. Created in 2012 by video game industry veteran Julie Uhrman, OUYA is bringing the most exciting, creative, and inventive free-to-try game play experiences to life – in 1080p HD – for $99. Uhrman and an initial team of game developers and industry advisors brought the concept to life with the help of award-winning designer Yves Behar.
OUYA is currently available for pre-order at retailers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and will be on store shelves on June 25, 2013. Visit ouya.tv for more information.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB)
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has backed entrepreneurs in more than 700 ventures leading to nearly 200 IPOs, over 375,000 jobs and a deep strategic network. The firm has helped build pioneering companies like Align, Amazon, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Symantec, VeriSign and WebMD. KPCB partners serve on the boards of Amazon, Apple, Bloom Energy, Flipboard, Foundation Medicine, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nest, Square, Tesaro and Zynga, among others. KPCB accelerates the success of entrepreneurs with a team of partners delivering company-building services including strategy, operational scaling, recruiting, business development, product delivery and marketing communications. The firm invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies. KPCB operates from offices in Menlo Park, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing.