Ouya was a much buzzed about product when it came to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It quickly raised $8.5 million in funding, marking the project in Kickstarter history. The promise: Ouya could revolutionize the gaming industry with its hackable platform, allowing gamers to also be developers without licensing fees. The team welcomed Muffi Ghadiali as VP of product development in 2012 to spearhead a team of engineers, but TechCrunch confirmed this morning that Ghadiali is departing from the company, putting Ouya’s roadmap in question.
Ghadiali came on board originally because he saw “the potential for an open technology to change how gaming works.” He left his project managing position at Amazon where he was integral in the Kindle launch, to work with the Ouya lineup to make it a “viable consumer product.”
Ouya has hit plenty of roadblocks already. When the company finally released the cube-shaped console in March 2013, it faced considerable competition from new iterations of Apple TV (complete with AirPlay streaming from game-laden iOS devices) as well as Xbox One and PlayStation. Fast Company writer Kevin Oke advised the Ouya team to create innovative parental controls and market directly toward parents. Whether that would have worked, who knows–but Ouya’s sales numbers fell flat. We’ll see if Julie Uhrman, Ouya’s founder, can reignite her team’s (and her Kickstarter contributors’) enthusiasm.TH