The Kickstarter for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters amassed $204,680 for American McGee's Spicy Horse studio to work on the project, with micro-transactions also opening another stream of revenue.
Well, Spicy Horse has spent around $2 million on Akaneiro after "360 man-months" and only taken in about $300k. The studio has now downsized with Akaneiro's team left at two.
The Shanghai-based developer is "'in the hole' $1.7 million," revealed American McGee in the , and notes indie life is enduring a "constant threat of failure."
Akaneiro: Demon Hunters had a team of 15 developers but now only 2 remain handling bugs, multiplayer and tablet support. Spicy Horse is instead hoping their new project The Gate, a card-collecting RTS, will help fill the studio's coffers again and let them get back to Akaneiro full force.
"Development on Akaneiro started during the early months of 2011. Since that time, we've maintained a development team averaging 15 people/month on the project. In total, around 360 man-months have gone towards development, bringing our investment in dollars to nearly $2 million USD," said American McGee.
"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."
"The core development team has been reduced in size to just two people. They will continue to address bugs and make improvements while working towards goals like multi-player and tablet support, but progress will be slower."
"Depending on the success of our other remaining title, The Gate, we may one day find ourselves in a position to throw greater resources at Akaneiro. We certainly hope that will be the case," he continued.
"Life as an independent developer is filled with the constant threat of failure. This isn't the first time in our 8 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."
Akaneiro: Demon Hunters is an action-RPG available through.
Akaneiro: Demon Hunters puts American McGee's Spicy Horse in debt $1.7 million
30 January 2014 | By Simon Priest