American McGee, the man behind Alice: Madness Returns, has reported that Akaneiro: Demon Hunters has put the developer Spicy Horse $1.7 million into debt, since its conception. This update was posted on the PC game’s Kickstarter campaign page.
A total of 15 people were put to work on the roleplaying game (RPG) since 2011, resulting in “around 360 man-months” of development. This has racked up costs to around $2 million.
That price tag was only partially recouped. Its Kickstarter campaign successfully funded $200,000, with roughly another $100,000 coming from sales on Steam, as well as in-game purchases from its free-to-play model.
During the development of the game, Akaneiro was switched from a free version to a paying item, back to a free build on-site, with an attached purchased edition on Steam. It seems this hasn’t worked out to generate the needed income.
Due to the hardships endured by the game’s progress, the team behind Akaneiro has been downsized to just two people, who will try to address its issues. In the post, McGee states:
As is usually the case after these sorts of painful adjustments, we are now in a better position to survive, build success with The Gate, and re-focus development on Akaneiro with lessons learned from the mistakes we’ve made.
Spicy Horse’s now prime piece of development, The Gate, is a touch-friendly game that tries to go for both roleplaying and strategy elements, adding a card system to its gameplay. This is a free-to-play game as well and delves into similar darkened visuals like the company’s previous titles.
Previously, support for Akaneiro on iOS and Android was part of the original plan. While it’s still mentioned as a possibility, it’s not likely to arrive anytime soon with less dedication to the game.