Preserving OUYA – A Concerted Effort To Save The Platform’s Games
OUYA might not be the most successful game console in history, and in fact, by industry standards it was anything but a success when compared to other consoles. For all its lack of success though when it comes to the sales and the platform as a whole after it was launched, it still had its charms and was a success in its own weird way, thanks to the cult fan base and largely successful Kickstarter campaign to make the OUYA dream come true.
Now a dedicated team of people is making a concerted effort to preserve the platform’s games before they end up lost to the annals of gaming.
For better or worse, OUYA services are shutting down on June 25 which is just over ten days away, and since Razer‘s official announcement about the shutdown back in May of this year multiple people have scrambled together to make sure that all of the weird and wonderful indie games that OUYA had to offer aren’t completely forgotten.
Efforts like this one are usually associated with historical artifacts, texts, art, and other items that come from past civilizations, preserving history so that future generations can look back and appreciate that history and learn from it. The same thing is essentially going on here.
Despite the OUYA’s inability to bust through the ceiling as a smash hit and take over the gaming market, it’s still a piece of gaming history and perhaps to many people’s surprise there are what seems like more than enough people who want to preserve that history.
This is in large part thanks to the Game History Association and its leader Vojtech Straka, who set up a Discord channel called OUYA Saviors and is working with fans of the platform, other game preservationists and even some early backers of the OUYA Kickstarter campaign to save the games.
The team people is starting with scraping metadata about the games from the internet as well as the OUYA console, and is continuing with other steps like downloading free games and purchasing the paid games which were offered in the OUYA store so they can be preserved. There are even people working on ways to make it possible to trick the OUYA system into letting games which required an online connection play without that requirement being met.
This much effort is more than just preserving a piece of gaming history. Some people involved and many more who are simply fans of OUYA have paid for games which are no longer going to work once the system platform and services are shut down, so this is one way to ensure that people are getting what they paid for and will continue to have the ability to enjoy that content.
Beyond that, it’s a way for enthusiasts to remember what OUYA set out to accomplish, which was to make it easier for people to develop games by making it less expensive to actually make them, which could in turn translate to a lower cost of acquiring these games for the players.
It also shows that with enough desire to save something nothing is really impossible so long as there is enough help to accomplish the overall goal. Though Straka and the OUYA Saviors may not be able to preserve every single game before the June 25 shutdown date the work continues as the group aims to save as many as they can, and Straka even admits that it may take months to complete all of the work they have planned.
Straka also notes that they have no intention of making the playable game files available online, only the metadata for the games they were able to preserve, along with a list of which games those are and potentially an instructional guide on how to make games playable offline for anyone who still owns an OUYA console and may want to access the games they have purchased and downloaded.
The real interesting thing is, this isn’t entirely an effort to save the games because they were OUYA games, but also an effort to save them simply because they’re games and were probably loved and enjoyed by someone. It’s an effort that showcases a love for games in general. Games that may have had some profound effect on people who played them, whether day in and day out or merely a few times a month.
Preserving the many, many games available on the OUYA platform so the history of those games is not lost is really not much different from preserving the history of anything else. There is value and importance present, and thanks to a very passionate group of people who simply love games, anyone who still wishes to play some of the OUYA titles may now get the chance to do so, even if the platform no longer officially lives on.
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