American McGee’s Spicy Horse has been working on Akaneiro: Demon Hunters since early 2011. Since then, the game has raised over $200,000 via Kickstarter and been part of Steam’s Greenlight program. Now, Spicy Horse has announced that development has been drastically scaled back before fulfilling all of the Kickstarter goals.

In a post on the Kickstarter page, American McGee explains the situation. “In total, around 360 man-months have gone towards development, bringing our investment in dollars to nearly $2 million USD,” McGee writes. “In that same period, we've generated roughly 300kUSD in revenue - this includes funds collected via the Kickstarter campaign, F2P purchases in-game, and one-time purchases via Steam. In simple math: We've spent $2 million, we've made $300k, we're 'in the hole' $1.7 million.”  

McGee says that development has been scaled back to two people, who will continue to address bugs and work toward Kickstarter promises, like multiplayer implementation. Another promise of the Kickstarter, support for mobile devices, also has yet to be realized.

McGee writes that the studio has recently been downsized, with development focused on a new game, The Gate. “If we can achieve our goals with The Gate, then we can bring greater attention to Akaneiro,” he writes.

“In providing transparency like this, I am asking for your understanding and I am hoping for your support,” McGee states. We’ve reached out to the developer for comment and clarification on the game’s status with regard to Steam Early Access given the change in direction. "The team has simply been reduced to from 15 people to 2," an initial email statement to Game Informer reads. "Work will go ahead as planned but at a slower pace." We've followed up for clarification on the status of the game as it relates to Steam Early Access.

Thanks to Charlie for the tip.

[Source: Kickstarter]


Our Take
Spicy Horse is in uncharted territory. Not only has it failed to deliver on Kickstarter promises, but at the same time, it has become the first Early Access game with a significant stumble. Two staff members aren’t likely enough to implement multiplayer into the game. They might be able to keep the status quo and squash bugs here and there, but backers should write this off as a lost cause.