Of two games under Ouya's Free the Games Fund, one was suspended and the other successfully ended its project campaign yesterday.
Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes! were two independent games participating in Ouya's Free the Games Fund, in which Ouya would match campaign donations if the game met its goal on Kickstarter of at least $50,000. Both games received donations from many new accounts, some of which donated large amounts of money. With questions of legitimacy raised, Victory Square Games, developer for Elementary, My Dear Holmes!, began to investigate the source of donations. Kickstarter suspsended the project on Friday. Sam Chandola, creator of the game, said they "wanted to get on top of this and did not want anything to do with any of what was happening as it was an extremely negative campaign for us." However, one game remains.
Gridiron Thunder is a pro football game and is set to release on Sept. 15, according to the project's Kickstarter page. With an initial goal of $75,000, the game raised $171,000 in a month. Most surprising is that the game had only 183 backers, meaning the average amount donated per person was $934.48. Some of the funders donated $10,000. For comparison, of 84 projects over the past three months, the average donation per person was $50.59, "making Gridiron Thunder a statistical anomaly," according to Joystiq. On the last day of the campaign, the game received $45,522 from 12 backers, according to Kicktraq.
Before suspension, Elementary, My Dear Holmes! received $58,770 and had a total of 861 backers. Chandola told Joystiq he has received mail from a few people interested in the game, so the game will likely see the day, but not as a part of Ouya's Free the Games.
Update: Chandola published an address to all of the backers of Elementary, My Dear Holmes! concerning the news of their game's suspension after he reported it to Kickstarter. He said no one will be charged for their Kickstarter pledges to the project. The project will continue and will not be exclusive to any one platform or publisher. In addition, he addressed allegations of his involvement in the suspicious donations:
"Not me, nor anyone at Victory Square Games did anything to astroturf our project. We did not do it ourselves, we did not pay anyone to do it, we did not ask anyone to do it. If we had, I would not have reported my own project...We went to Kickstarter because we did not have the money to build this game... things shall still proceed even if we have to work out from an alley."