news\ Jan 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Akaneiro developer Spicy Horse 'in the hole' $1.7 million


Developing Akaneiro: Demon Hunters for PC and browsers has put Spicy Horse $1.7 million in debt.

According to an update on the game's Kickstarter page, developer Spicy Horse spent $2 million making the free-to-play action role-playing game but only brought in $300,000 in revenue — from crowdfunding, microtransactions, and one-time Steam purchases.

"Given this situation, we now have no choice but to radically alter the approach we're taking to maintaining and improving the game," wrote founder American McGee.

That change in approach includes cutting the core team to just two people, which will slow continued development progress, such as bug-squashing and improvements like multiplayer and tablet support.

Spicy Horse is hoping its newest title, The Gate, an action-card game, can save the studio — and ensure future support of Akaneiro.

"Life as an independent developer is filled with the constant threat of failure," McGee told Kickstarter backers. "This isn't the first time in our eight-year history we've faced this sort of challenge. It's not the first time we've had to reduce staff on one of our games.

"It is different because of the demand for transparency that comes with being a part of Kickstarter. In providing transparency like this, I am asking for your understanding, and I am hoping for your support."

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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