Last year, gaming vet Julie Uhrman set out to change the face of her industry. The former exec with IGN and Gamefly wanted to create a console that was less expensive than Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony systems and entirely open to developers. Venture-capital firms were wary of investing in a hardware company, so she got creative about funding. Via Kickstarter, her project raised more than $3 million last summer in little more than 24 hours, which Kickstarter said was a record for the platform.
Ouya ultimately drew more than $8.5 million from gamer fanatics who pledged money in exchange for early access to the device’s software-development kit and a console once Ouya finished production. Devices landed at investors’ doorsteps in the spring. In the meantime, Ms. Uhrman is working out kinks to meet a retail launch this month. “We’re putting all the power back in the hands of the creator,” Ms. Uhrman said. “Create any game you want, price it any way you want.”