‘The free-to-play space has become quite brutal in recent years, and I feel it's time we pivot to something new,’ says creator of Alice: Madness Returns

American McGee studio Spicy Horse lays off staff in departure from F2P

Spicy Horse, the developer founded by American McGee, has been forced to cut its workforce as it moves away from free-to-play titles.

The Shanghai-based outlet produced 2011’s Alice: Madness Returns for console and PC, as well as free-to-play game Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, which struggled to take off in the market upon release in early 2013.

Responding to suggestions that the studio had been closed completely, McGee clarified that “the studio remains, as does a core team who will pivot away from free-to-play”.

Elaborating in a NeoGAF thread, McGee confirmed that a number of employees had been laid off.

“Just wanted to let everyone know Spicy Horse did reduce staff earlier this week, but a core team will remain in the studio and we’ll be announcing new projects soon,” he wrote.

“The remaining team will continue to support our existing and recently launched mobile free-to-play titles.

“The free-to-play space has become quite brutal in recent years, and after five years and seven titles, I feel it’s time we pivot to something new.”

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