Comings and Goings: Ouya Co-founder Muffi Ghadiali Declares his Game Over

By Steve Anderson January 17, 2014

While Ouya still isn't one of the biggest names in console technology out there, one member of the Ouya crew reportedly believes that his mission with the company is mostly complete. Reports suggest that co-founder and product development expert Muffi Ghadiali is leaving the company, and the reports further note that the decision to depart wasn't Ouya's, but rather Ghadiali's.

It's not every day that news about a voluntary departure comes out—most are eager to keep jobs in this economic climate—but in this case, Muffi Ghadiali seems to be one of the few looking to do so. A statement from Ouya offered praise for Ghadiali's work, referring to him as “...invaluable during the launch of Ouya,” and further noting that Ouya was “...focusing more on the next phase of the business and product development.”

Indeed, that “next phase” is looking to be downright crucial for Ouya as a whole. Ouya sales in the first week were, by all accounts, positive, but word about the remaining weeks' sales has been noticeably thin. Further reports suggested that, with a month since launch, three out of four Ouya owners had yet to purchase even one game. Some attributed this unusual development to an Ouya requirement that all games—even demos—include some free gameplay, which may have left most users running through the buffet sampler before actually settling down to order an entree, so to speak. Others have wondered if the issue isn't one of user interface, making games available for sale difficult to find, a development that Ouya is said to be in the midst of working to improve.

It's never an encouraging sign when someone high up in a company leaves voluntarily. Of course, there's always the issue of retirement that comes up, but normally there's a mention of retirement, as opposed to just calling it “a departure” as Ouya did. Of course, Ouya is a young company, really, and as such shifts in the overall environment are really to be expected. It's actually pretty rational to see some people depart and new people arrive as Ouya strives to find the right mix of talent to take it to the next level. But still, on a visceral level, this is a worrying development especially when stacked up against similar developments from the company like the “Free the Games Fund” and other matters, not to mention the sheer competition in the field.

Only time will tell, really, if this is the beginning of the end for Ouya, or more optimistically, simply the end of the beginning. While this is an unsettling development, it may not have the kind of wide impact that some may be afraid of. Time and vigilance will tell the true story here, and hopefully Ouya will have plenty of life left in its operations.

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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