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Why Ouya games must be free-to-try

Ouya is taking a hands-off approach when it comes to developers — well, with one big exception.

The maker of the Android-based Ouya microconsole isn't imposing restrictions on what type of games developers can release or how they monetize them, but the company is mandating that all games on the platform support a free-to-try option.

That means demos of some kind are a must.

"It cleans up the app store," Ouya chief executive officer Julie Uhrman told GamesIndustry International. "It removes the confusion between a paid app store and a free app store. We also think it cuts down on the copycat games, where you have games that look like each other and one is paid but the other is free and you don't know what to do. So we thought the easiest way to remove that and create a great experience for gamers and developers that was rewarding in their own right was to adopt this free-to-try model."

Ouya will do checks to see that developers aren't infringing on other intellectual properties or releasing games with malware or pornographic content, but it won't be judging quality.

"That's really up to the gamers and how often they play the game," Uhrman said. "What's really important to us in games on Ouya is engagement, and that's what's going to dictate to us what a great game is and what's going to lead our curation and merchandising plan."

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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