American McGee’s Studio Spicy Horse Closing

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

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Spicy Horse logo

Spicy Horse Games, co-founded by American McGee and RJ Berg, is no more. The Shanghai-based studio, responsible most notably for Alice: Madness Returns, is closing. The company itself, however, will continue to exist to “explore new business opportunities.” Spicy Horse was a rare breed of a developer. Independent, multi-cultural, and focusing at times on a chiefly Chinese audience, the studio played around with episodic game design, free-to-play mechanics, and mobile games. Though not nearly the first to do so, the company is 10 years old now, so they weren’t exactly newcomers to mobile design either.

Still, McGee is clearly proud of what the studio was able to accomplish. “When we started, there were no other large-scale Western indie developers in China,” he stated in a press release he posted on his Twitter. “Out of this we grew a great culture, developed unique games, and were witness to monumental changes in the Chinese economy, culture, and arts.” Berg also expressed pride for their accomplishments in the release, stating that “we’re moving on to the next episode.”

Though this might cause people to question the possibility of a third Alice game, the release ensured that McGee and Berg were not going away forever and that they would continue to support Alice should new developments in the EA-owned franchise arise. In the meantime, American McGee intends to slim the focus of Spicy Horse down to produce new indie game and video content. He also intends to host floating game jams he calls “Pirate Jam,” and then sail around southeast Asia. (Author’s Note: A fascinating future for the man with the fascinating name.)

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About Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones is a 24 year-old with a BA in History and has been gaming as far back as he can remember. Growing up, he was raised strictly on Nintendo consoles, but this fueled a passion for Japanese gaming and design. Though he does still have a soft spot for Nintendo, he has grown to love any developer and console with fun, enjoyable games. Some of his favorite games of all time include Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy XIII, Chrono Trigger, and Katawa Shoujo.




  • Panpopo

    10 years is a pretty good run for a studio And it’s not like he’s dead – he will be back in some other form after he’s had his fun sailing around southeast Asia.

  • Mr0303

    That’s a shame. I wish them the best of luck. I really enjoyed both Alice games, especially the second one.

  • ProfessorFluffy

    Although they closed down their Shanghai studio, it doesn’t really sound like Spicy Horse is really disbanding. It sounds more like a major restructuring into an indie studio. From what I’ve read they will still be around and McGee had started a Patreon.

    I’ll probably sound cynical for saying this, but I wonder if the motivation behind this is to drop the company’s prior responsibilities. If I’m not mistaken, Akaneiro was still being developed by a small group in the studio to add the promised multiplayer and such. The studio closure makes me wonder if it’s an excuse for McGee to say “We aren’t able to finish the game because the studio has closed, sorry! Also support my Patreon!”

  • Audie Bakerson

    Welp.