One of the founding fathers and key members of Ouya, Muffi Ghadiali, has left the company.
Muffi Ghadiali not only co-founded Ouya, but he served as one of the major building blocks of the company as a whole. Ghadiali spear-headed a myriad of tasks for the micro-console, including hardware development to mass-market production and firmware management.
Before his time at Ouya, Ghadiali had a colorful career and lent his expertise to HP in crafting TouchSmart and MediaSmart suites. He also worked with Amazon’s Lab126, managing the production of Kindle devices.
Now Ghadiali has left the team, leaving Ouya at a time where its stake in the industry is shaky at best. The company delivered the following official statement to TechCrunch about Ghadiali’s exit, citing that their “needs have shifted” due to its “ever-changing business model”:
“OUYA is focusing more on the next phase of the business and product development. We’ve made some recent changes including the departure of Muffi Ghadiali who was invaluable during the launch of OUYA.
“As is to be expected, OUYA is an ever-changing business, and as we continue to grow our needs shift accordingly.”
As to why Ghiadali left Ouya remains a mystery, but reports indicate that it was possibly due to the console’s floundering success on the market.
With cheaper and more powerful contenders like the GameStick and MadCatz’s MOJO micro-consoles, the Ouya has had a hard time competing. The lack of content has also contributed to the console’s ill success, and general interest has waned considerably since the console became widely available.
Not so long ago the Ouya was the hot new console that everyone was talking about. It broke records and shook up the gaming sphere with its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $8 million in crowd-sourced funds. Many saw huge potential in the tiny box, but thanks to the meager specifications/limited hardware, lack of content, and $99.99 price tag, the Ouya has since become stale.
And now that Sony and Microsoft’s respective next-gen consoles have a hefty focus on indie gaming, the Ouya has to compete against the industry giants–as well as the likes of Sony’s PS Vita TV and BlueStacks’ GamePop to boot.
Without Ghiadali, the company may face even more hurdles in terms of renewing the waning interest of the gaming world. It will definitely be interesting to see what Ouya has planned for their mini-console, and if their efforts or successful–but in its current state it remains a mediocre if not curious specimen of ingenuity and innovation.