Heck no, Ouya won't go. Even if E3 calls the cops
LOS ANGELES—The company behind the Android-based console Ouya is at E3 this week to show off its wares and make announcements along with the rest of the gaming world. Unlike most of the industry, however, Ouya Inc. isn’t playing by E3’s rules, and the trade show’s management reportedly doesn’t like it.
Instead of rubbing elbows with the rest of the E3 attendees inside the LA Convention Center, Ouya set up shop in a parking lot across the street, which it has dubbed OuyaPark. “Traditionally [E3] has been closed to members of the industry only,” Ouya said in a blog post on Monday announcing its E3 presence. “At OUYAPark everyone is welcome—no credentials required.” It’s a cheeky nod to Ouya’s outsider status as a company attempting to open up the console gaming industry to smaller developers.
Well, this state of affairs apparently didn’t sit well with the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3. So to combat Ouya’s renegade E3 presence, the ESA rented out a few parking spots in front of OuyaPark, Ouya claims. The company then placed several semi-truck trailers in the spots, blocking Ouya’s E3 presence from view. “Whoa, not cool,” Ouya said Tuesday via Twitter . “ESA (which runs @E3expo) tried to block #OUYApark with a big trailer.” To produce E3, the ESA partners with IDG World Expo, which is owned by TechHive’s parent company International Data Group.
Ouya quickly overcame the ESA’s roadblock by renting out more parking spots and posting signs in front of the semi-truck trailers saying “OuyaPark open to all.”
“You thought a little semi-truck was going to stop our #OUYApark? Haha! You were wrong,” the company crowed, posting a Vine video of its rebellious banner.
Ouya’s little adventure didn’t stop there, either. Soon after the semi-trailer incident, two members of the Los Angeles Police Department showed up Mall Cop-style on a pair of souped-up Segways to see what all the fuss was about. Ouya suspects the LAPD visitation was part of its battle with the ESA, according to IGN.
After determining that Ouya had all its permits in order, however, the cops soon left the upstart console company alone. But not before posing for a few pics with Ouya staff. Even LA’s finest found little to complain about with a $99 gaming console, it seems.
And that’s where the battle between Ouya and the ESA stands so far. We’ve reached out to the ESA to see if the company has anything to say about their battle with OuyaPark. Meanwhile, Ouya is embracing its status as an upstart battling purported corporate repression with the hashtag #occupyE3.