For the first year of its life, the OUYA was able to claim that every game on the platform was free to try. Now, with over 700 games available via that model, the first pay-only games have hit the platform. On April 27, 2014 Johnny Adolf – The Floppy Duck became the first pay-only game on the system. It’s a shame that the first pay-only game is a pig-slicing variant of Flappy Bird, because that just seems wrong. The second pay-only game at least has some dignity to it. Tales of Illyria – Beyond the Iron Wall looks like a tactical combat game and at least has some nice graphics to look at. Its cost is $5, while Johnny Adolf is only a dollar. Honestly, it doesn’t even look to be worth that price, and you’re far better off saving that dollar and spending it on just about anything else.
The new pay-only model doesn’t apply to every game on the platform, and of the half-dozen released today, only these two require payment to play. The change in business models has divided the OUYA community a bit, with some feeling that it shows the company has sold out. I personally fall into the camp that feels they’re just evolving and doing more to meet developer needs. They’re aiming to appeal to hobbyist devs and some don’t feel a free portion fits their vision – so the company is changing things up a bit and being more developer-friendly. Hopefully this model doesn’t become the norm for everything though, as one of the best things about being an OUYA owner has been trying out tons of new things and sometimes trying out a new genre, simply due to the free-to-try model.