OUYA's "Free the Games" fund, which matches funds for any indie game on Kickstarter with at least $50,000 in funding (up to $1 million), is embroiled in backlash from the indie game developers it sought to court. After two Kickstarter projects tied to the initiative were found to be taking advantage of the promotion -- investing their own money or those of friends to receive the matching funds -- OUYA head Julie Uhrman attempted to assuage concerns with a blog post last evening. In it, Uhrman says, "Recently, the intention behind our Free the Games Fund - to provide additional funding to crowd-funded games bound for OUYA, and enable developers to make more of them - seems to have been lost."
The post, however, seems to have caused more harm than good. Indie developers took to the comments section to berate Uhrman's response. "This reads like a press release from a console company locked into a foolish policy and using aspirational language to shift the blame, weirdly, onto its critics," Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell wrote in the comments. "You can do better." One dev says she's removing her game from the OUYA marketplace altogether as a result of Uhrman's deflection. "After reading Julie Uhrman's blog post last night it became very apparent to me that the company does not support indie developers who need the support most, and that they are incapable of ever correcting their mistakes," Rose and Time developer Sophie Houlden posted to her blog. "I'm simply no longer comfortable supporting the company."
Aside from a single statement on Twitter, Uhrman (nor OUYA) hasn't responded to critics just yet. "No we are not changing the Free The Games Fund. We are sticking with it," she wrote last night with a link to the blog post in question. We'll update this piece should OUYA decide to alter its course.