The main event at this year’s E3 may be the slugfest between Sony and Microsoft, but the undercard is pretty interesting, too. Ouya, the forthcoming Android-based console that raised millions on Kick starter, has gotten into a feud with the Entertainment Software Association, the host of the show – one that has been steadily escalating and may or may not have included a call to the Los Angeles police department.
Rather than spending the money on an official presence at E3, which can cost millions of dollars, Ouya decided to set up a guerilla booth outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
As the show started, though, IGN reports that show officials rented out the spaces in front of Ouya’s parking lot booth and parked semi-trucks in the spots, obfuscating the company’s presence and making it hard for many show goers to locate. Ouya countered by renting the spaces in front of the ESA trucks and hanging banners advertising its console and pointing people to the outdoor exhibit.
Then it got weird.
Ouya accused the ESA of calling the Los Angeles police department in an attempt to shut down the unauthorized exhibit. The police reportedly came, checked Ouya’s permits and took no action.
The ESA, while declining to comment about the overall strife between the two organizations, strongly denied calling the police. How much of this is hard fact and how much is an extension of the carnival show atmosphere is hard to determine, but it’s worth taking the accusations with a grain of salt.
Ouya is launching at retail in the coming weeks with an asking price of $99. With a limited marketing budget, any news is good news since it raises awareness of the brand. Moreso, any story that positions the company as an underdog helps them even more. They just better hope that doesn’t result in some seriously ugly parking tickets.