Alice Developer Spicy Horse Is Not Shutting Down, McGee Says

"In fact, will be moving away from free-to-play efforts in the future."


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American McGee, the founder of Alice developer Spicy Horse, has spoken up to confirm that the Shanghai-based studio is not shutting down, as has been speculated recently.

Someone asked McGee on Facebook if Spicy Horse was closing its doors, to which he responded, "No." He confirmed a round of layoffs took place recently, but said the studio will continue to operate--and change.

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"We reduced staff earlier this week, but the studio remains and will continue to support existing and recently launched titles," McGee said. "We'll be pivoting away from F2P mobile games. More news on next titles coming soon."

Spicy Horse is perhaps best known for Alice: Madness Returns (2011), which was published by gaming giant Electronic Arts. McGee also worked on the 2008 original American's McGee's Alice at Rogue Entertainment.

In 2013, McGee asked Alice fans if they would be interested supporting a Kickstarter for a third game in the series if he could obtain the rights from EA. This never materialized.

Also in 2013, McGee bemoaned EA's marketing of Alice: Madness Returns. On Reddit, he claimed EA intentionally created trailers for the game that would "trick" gamers into thinking the game was a hardcore horror title.

Spicy Horse is now working on free-to-play mobile/social games like Akaneiro and The Gate. We'll have more details on the company's future direction as they're announced.

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Avatar image for Malaphisis

stinks game companies close all the time, at least the degree is worth it and you can always find other 3D and 2D work.

Avatar image for 5olid_5nake

Hang on, the founder's name is actually American McGee? I just always assumed that was the developers name.

Is he supposed to be some obtuse foreign spy or something? I don't intend to sound mean, but who would name a person "American McGee"?

Avatar image for putaspongeon

@5olid_5nake: Well they named him American, not McGee.

Avatar image for SpicyRamen10

@5olid_5nake: Probably an American patriot or definitely an impressionable hippie.

Avatar image for luciferous

@5olid_5nake: I don't think he was born with that name but took it upon himself like some bizarre mantel of... bizarreness!

Avatar image for SpicyRamen10

@luciferous: Nah, he was actually born with that name. Apparently his mother was an eccentric hippie who was inspired by a friend to name him that. Actually, it would've been a better name than what his mother was originally going to name him, "Obnard".

Avatar image for maltnut

Alice came out in 2000, not 2008. It once came in a great two pack with Undying.

First one was brilliant, second one started off strong, but tapered out, level designs got flat and boring, also there were no bloody boss fights!

Avatar image for fulcrvm

Alice 3 would be awesome, i loved the series, especially the last one.

Avatar image for rikku45

ooh that's why we never got a 3rd game, pity really it was such a great series.

Avatar image for xOmniCloudx

I'd love an Alice 3 game. Stupid EA.

Avatar image for jski

This guy has always baffled me. He came out of the gates as a promising designer with a unique vision. He did an interesting take on Alice in Wonderland and we thought games based on OZ were next. He seemed like he was setting himself up to be the Tim Burton of the videogame world and then....nada. His obsession with the Alice franchise, which was just okay, is strange. It isn't the 1990's anymore. Sassy Goth girl with knife in fairy tale is kind of a cliche now. I liked the 90's as well. It was a great time, lots of new music and a great decade to be in your late teens and early twenties, but it's over now. Put the FTP mobile games down, come up with a Zelda-esque, open world, OZ based RPG and get those juices flowing again. I still believe A.McGee has some great games inside him, but time waits for nobody, son. Get crackin.

Avatar image for xantufrog

I started replaying Alice thanks to the recent PS sale. I hadn't played that since it came out on PC ages ago. It's a good time!

Avatar image for GameYakuza

@xantufrog: My one problem with old timey 3D games is the tiled textures on crude geometry. Makes me motion sick even though I played 3D games for 20 years.

Avatar image for xantufrog

@GameYakuza: yeah, I'd say in general that 3D games age the worst unless really heavily stylized. Of course, Alice is indeed heavily stylized, but it's not immune to its age.

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer

guess making mobile games wasn't all it was cracked up to be was it McGee?

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234

American McGee is a traitor to Americans, his name is American but lives in Shanghai,China, how ironic.

Avatar image for jski

@ps3gamer1234How does living in China make him a traitor?:

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234

@jski: It was a joke.

Avatar image for beavisj

More from Alice, yes, but would love his vision of OZ to come to light

Avatar image for madsnakehhh

Would love to see Alice 3...sure the gameplay is ok at best but the art style is superb, really love it.

Avatar image for jurk182

Check out his kickstarter for his new game about himself called "American McGee's American MGee's American McGee"

Avatar image for davet666

I just bought Alice: Madness Returns Ultimate Edition on PS3 last week on sale for $1.99 and it was totally worth it. It was fun to play American McGee's Alice on PS3 and I'm enjoying Madness Returns. I would like to see another game in this series.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

I'd love another Scrapland.......or a remastered Scrapland.....that game was cool, it's an American McGee game too.....

I never finished Scrapland but I was close to the end when my XBOX, PS2 and all games were stolen, hope whoever did the deed got picked up for an even Class A Felony and is now rotting in jail......I get theft but jeez, to take someone's games and consoles and leave the movies???? yeah well 150+ DVD's would be hard to move so quick.....10-20 games is much easier.....

anyways would love to see another Scrapland, great game, very underrated.....

Avatar image for jski

@darthrevenx Holy cow, Scrapland. I've been trying to remember the name of that game for years. I didn't even know it was one of his games. You made my day. I have to find a copy of that game.:

Avatar image for hystavito

@darthrevenx: Oh yeah Scrapland, that was a cool game.

Avatar image for joshrmeyer

Pleaseee make another alice!

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU

I really hope Madness Returns becomes BC. That'd make me very happy...

Avatar image for dr_josh

I'm sure Jess is relieved.