First two Ouya Free the Games titles funded, internet calls shenanigans

Tuesday, 27th August 2013 23:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The first two games to qualify for Ouya’s Free the Games crowdfunding scheme have met their Kickstarter goals, but the internet smells both a rat and something fishy.

Ouya put aside $1 million for the Free the Games campaign, offering to match Kickstarter funding of up to $250,000 per project for games pledging to remain Ouya-exclusive for six months. 40 games have signed up, and 11 have live crowdfunding campaigns.

Of these, two have already met their targets and qualified for funding, Ouya announced in a press release today. Elementary, My Dear Holmes met its $50,000 goal with 17 days left, and Gridiron Thunder raised $75,000 with 13 days remaining.

Unfortunately, questions have been raised about the legitimacy of Gridiron Thunder’s campaign. As collated on a NeoGAF thread, there are several suspicious aspects. First, just 126 backers pledged the total of $78,259, which averages at over $600 each – an unusually high total even allowing for occasional whales. Additionally, the majority of backers did not request any rewards for their pledges, which is again very unusual.

Most damning of all, a significant number of backers seem to have created accounts specifically to back this one project, and there are multiple instances of shared names, duplicate names, and celebrity avatars, all of which makes these accounts look a heck of a lot like dummies.

Commenters allege the team behind Gridiron Thunder, MgoTXT, have put up the cash themselves through fake backer accounts, accepting the loss of the percentage KIckstarter will take in order to secure Ouya’s funding.

In a statement given to Gamasutra, CEO Andrew Won responded to the scandal.

“We are not trying to do something improper with Ouya’s Free the Games promotion, and we are in full compliance with both KickStarter’s and Ouya’s rules,” Won wrote.

“We have had some generous donors but so have other KickStarter campaigns. In our case, we have very deep roots in Silicon Valley and great ties to fellow tech entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. We also have friends in the professional sports world who want to see us succeed. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having generous supporters, and we make no apology for this. It does not violate any KickStarter or Ouya rule.”

Ouya is yet to respond for requests for comment, although its Twitter did note that the game has an enthusiastic community.

Thanks, Rob.



  1. monkeygourmet

    Oh dear…

    You can’t step outta line atall these days without he nerd patrol tracking yo ass down.

    I’m not sure if its good or bad, but the collective ‘hive mind’ of thousands of neck beards is one of the wonders of the modern age!

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Keivz

    Smells rotten to me.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Beta

    Does seem rather off that they’ve got that much money from such a small group of backers. Unless Kickstarter is full of benevolent, generous and rich backers..

    #3 1 year ago
  4. ShiiRo

    Someone should also tell Ouya that they probably don’t have the money to fight the potential lawsuit that the NFL and possibly EA would bring to them if they actually try to sell/help fund a game with NFL player likenesses and logos.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. MFBB

    #1 its good we have those nerd patrols.

    They have discovered lots of stuff in the recent years, frauds etc.

    Also they are always good for a laugh :)

    This does indeed look very fishy

    #5 1 year ago
  6. The_Red

    I’d say it’s both (good and bad).

    The whole thing ruined Adam Orth’s life but also helped spread the criticism of always-online and partially, resulted in MS take the u-turn.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. tylerDurden

    Andew Won (CEO) of Mogotxt has a suspended Incorporation from the California secretary of state Entity Number
    See it here at
    Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
    C2727208 03/11/2005 SUSPENDED MOGOTXT, INC. ANDREW WON

    Also there is a lawsuit from Andrew Won’s Capstone law Group for ethics violations at the Superior Court of California case number CGC 13 528884
    SF Superior court

    #7 1 year ago

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