The makers of the Ouya games console, came under fire today for failing to live up to a promise to furnish backers with the device before it hit retail.
The £99 Android-powered box sold out upon its arrival at many retailers in the US and UK, but the success has been tempered by a huge backlash from those who helped to make the project a reality.
More than 63,000 people pledged a total of $8.6 million (£5.58m)
after being sold on the concept, which put mobile-style games in the
living room and pledged to open more doors for independent developers.
Seemingly hundreds of those backers, described by Ouya as a “small subset” took to the company’s Kickstarter page to express their annoyance that the public were able to buy the device before it landed on their own doorstep.
Many have requested refunds, while others simply seem let down and betrayed by the experience.
Backer Michael K E wrote: “Well it is the 25th of June and I still have not received my Ouya. What a shame. As each day ticks by I regret backing this project more and more. I understand that this is a “first” for this company in many ways, however all the nice talk and promises really hurt when they fail to be fulfilled on multiple occasions.”
Travis added: “So it looks like quite a lot of early backers will receive their consoles around a MONTH after OUYA hits shelves in retail. Awesome. What was the point of Kickstarter again?”
Ouya has told the disappointed parties that the snafu isn’t its fault, but that of a Hong Kong shipping partner and faults in the DHL tracking system that have led to a 10-day “limbo period.” During that time the device cannot be tracked.
In an update posted on Tuesday the company’s founder Julie Uhrman, whose passion for the project convinced so many backers to jump on board, expressed her own displeasure.
“I am p*****d,” she said. “Some of you have not yet received your Ouya — and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you.”
Worse still, it may take Ouya another two or more weeks before each of the backers receive their console.
It has certainly been a rocky road for the company since the initial success of the Kickstarter campaign. There have been numerous delays, while the first reviews of the developer build of the console weren’t too favourable.