Ouya seems to have had to do a lot of scaling back on their original design documents, and now we see more sweeping changes from the fledgling platform company. Ouya is now freeing up game design requirements to make it easier for indies to sign up and make games for them.
Ouya games are no longer required to have a free to play component. Subsequently, developers can now release their games on Ouya and PC at the same time. These changes do not lead to any money changing hands, and could be argued to not have cost Ouya anything.
Ouya’s Bob Mills explains why they removed the free to play requirement:
Free-to-try seemed like an obvious choice for an open platform. We knew it appealed to gamers, but it turned out many devs had trouble meeting the requirement, didn’t want to make a demo, or weren’t sure how to monetize their game.
Seems odd to look at these as huge steps for the platform, since they’ll hardly be enough to turn its fortunes, but they do matter. What Ouya really needs to work on at this point though is getting their platform in shape to be a profitable place to publish games. We honestly, genuinely wish them the best of luck in this endeavor.