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Rose and Time returns to Ouya after dev accepts Free the Games fund changes

"I can no longer justify keeping the game off the console."

Rose and Time, created by indie developer Sophie Houlden.

Rose and Time has returned to the Ouya store after its creator accepted the changes made to the controversial Free the Games fund.

In September indie developer Sophie Houlden pulled her time-travel stealth game from the Ouya marketplace over Ouya boss Julie Uhrman's lack of action.

Under its $1 million Free the Games Fund, Ouya promised to match contributions to successful Kickstarter games built for the micro-console. At the time the conditions were that the game must have raised at least $50,000, and in return for Ouya's contribution, a six-month exclusivity was agreed.

The first two titles Ouya confirmed to receive a contribution were American Football game Grid Iron Thunder, which asked for $75,000 and ended up with $171,009, and Elementary, My Dear Holmes!, which asked for $50,000. Both games were scrutinised for alleged suspicious backing, and Elementary, My Dear Holmes! saw its Kickstarter suspended after some claimed it was a "scam".

Following the outcry, Ouya announced changes to the Free the Games Fund rules and admitted the program contained "too many loopholes".

Satisfied with the changes, Houlden has now re-launched Rose and Time on Ouya, saying her problems with the company "don't exist any more".

"At the time a lot of developers besides myself were upset at how the Free the Games fund was going and said so," she wrote in a new blog post.

"Then, within a week of chatting with developers (including myself) about how the fund could be improved and what the best outcome for all concerned would be, the Free the Games fund was changed, none of the scam games received a single cent of the fund, the company admitted its mistakes, and was asking for yet more feedback to further improve things.

"Listening to developers, responding quickly, showing humility, and of course showing passion. All the reasons I pulled the game for, were non-existent after just that week. I didn't put the game back on immediately - I'm pretty suspicious so I wanted to keep an eye on things for a while longer - 'If this keeps up for a while I'll put it back for sure' I thought.

"Well, I've seen Ouya listening to developers, I've seen the humility multiple times, I've even chatted to Julie a couple of times in email and on Skype so I am confident at this point that I can no longer justify keeping the game off the console."

Houlden concluded: "Will the company screw up again? Probably. Will they do something that pisses me off? Almost certainly! But I believe when it happens the company will be receptive to criticism and will not be afraid to say 'my bad' if they realise they took a wrong step."

Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef interviewed Uhrman last month to discuss Ouya's problems and the future of the micro-console.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.