Razer has announced it is closing down the online store for the Razer Forge, its renamed and rebranded version of the Ouya console. The Android device will still function but you won't be able to buy new games or access games you've bought that you don't already have downloaded. The console will effectively have died.
Kickstarted back in 2013, The Ouya quickly become one of the most backed products on the crowdfunding platform. It raised its target in under eight hours and went on to raise $8.5 million in total. The big sell of the console was its price. It was going to retail at just £100 - significantly less than other major consoles at the time. However, that low price point was because the devices was essentially powerful enough to play mobile games.
The Ouya's power didn't stop it from having some excellent games. Towerfall, a game that remains one of the best share-screen versus games, debuted on the Ouya. But it never picked up the audience it needed to survive. In 2015 Ouya was acquired by Razer, the hardware and peripherals manufacturer. It rebranded the Ouya as the Razer Forge. That too didn't sell and was discontinued in 2016. Now, with the end of the store, it marks a dismal end for an interesting console.
According to Razer, the Ouya store will be shut down on June 25. The hardware will still function beyond that point but "you will no longer be able to access your account, games on the server, previously purchased titles, or be able to purchase new ones. You will continue to have access to games that have been downloaded."
When the store goes down it's not clear what games you will still be able to play
It's also not clear whether you will be able to play the games that you already own. "Once it has been shut down, access to the Discover section will no longer be available," Razer says. "Games downloaded that appear in Play, may still function if they do not require a purchase validation upon launch."
With the shift to digital sales in gaming there have been people warning that our ownership of games is changing. The danger becomes one of the large stores shutting down and severing our access to the games we've bought. While stores like Steam look like they could never fail, we're seeing with the Ouya an example of a platform's ending and everyone who owns it being locked out of the games they've bought.Should we be worried about the end of physical media? Let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter. And, while you're at it, check out the new GAMINGbible Snapchat.
Featured Image Credit: Ouya