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Spicy Horse Downsizes Due to Akaneiro Debt

A new update to the Kickstarter Page for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters discusses continued support for the action/RPG, revealing the project has put developer Spicy Horse in serious debt, which has lead to downsizing the game's support staff to just two developers (thanks nin via Joystiq). American McGee explains they've put about $2 million into the game, which only raised a tenth of that through crowd-sourced funding and a twentieth of that in revenue. "In simple math: We've spent $2 million, we've made $300k," he explains. "We're 'in the hole' $1.7 million." Here's what that means to the future of the game, the studio, and their next project:

Given this situation, we now have no choice but to radically alter the approach we're taking to maintaining and improving the game. 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.

What's written here quickly in a few paragraphs represents some truly painful internal decisions and adjustments. Our Shanghai-based development team recently underwent downsizing so that all resources can be directed towards the one game that offers the greatest chance of bringing much-needed stability to our studio. If we can achieve our goals with The Gate, then we can bring greater attention to Akaneiro.

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. In providing transparency like this, I am asking for your understanding and I am hoping for your support.

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