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Spicy Horse Studios Closing

A post on Facebook by American McGee announces the closure of Spicy Horse Studios, with the former id Software designer noting that "it feels like a good time for a radical shift" since the studio was only currently employing six people, down from a peak of 85+. He posted the official press release on the topic, along with personal reflections on the news:

10 years, 10 games, tons of wonderful memories. The Shanghai studio of Spicy Horse Games is closing its doors. The company itself will remain intact, and we'll continue to operate existing games online. At our peak, during development of Alice: Madness Returns, the studio contained 85+ people. These days we're down to just 6, and it feels like a good time for a radical shift.

I'm going to turn my focus to indie development and will continue to publish small titles under the Spicy Horse brand. Much of this work will be done in a challenging new environment - aboard my sailboat, bobbing around the S.E. Asia region. This is also where I'll bring to life Pirate Jam - the game jam on a flotilla of sailboats. I plan to document this new adventure online and in video. If you want to support these new creations, check out my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=340386

The past 12 years in China have been incredible. I owe so much to the people who helped build Spicy Horse into a happy place to explore and create. To the hundreds of developers who called Spicy Horse home over the years, Thank You. And to the fans and supporters who enjoyed our efforts, Thank You.

Now, to the next adventure! I hope you'll all join me along the way :)

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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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31. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 2, 2016, 06:55 Beamer
 
Sepharo wrote on Aug 2, 2016, 05:03:
Hey everybody I'm going to work from a tree fort from now on. Please send me money so I can accomplish this. Don't worry its not a life of luxury, living in a tree fort is harder than you might think.

Don't forget that you're laying off most of your staff. Maybe they can help contribute to your tree fort.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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30. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 2, 2016, 05:03 Sepharo
 
Hey everybody I'm going to work from a tree fort from now on. Please send me money so I can accomplish this. Don't worry its not a life of luxury, living in a tree fort is harder than you might think.  
Avatar 17249
 
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29. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 2, 2016, 01:15 bliblob
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 11:46:

Which is why him asking us to donate our money to his leisure life is shitty.

But you're still not getting it. It's not a leisure life. It's a change of working environment. Why do you not understand that some people choose to live on boats and work from them? There are thousands of people out there who do exactly that. It is no different to working in an office, other than the fact you can move around. Damn, given the choice, and providing you don't suffer from sea-sickness, wouldn't you do the same? Asking it another way: would you prefer to commute on a scooter through one of the world's most polluted and busiest cities to get to your office (check his recent vlog updates), or would you prefer to work in a warm climate in a quiet anchorage somewhere? It's a no-brainer, surely.

Living on a boat still has overheads. Boats have to be maintained, just like buildings do. You have to pay for electricity like you do in a building, except it's in the form of solar panels, batteries and generators. Marina fees, if required due to bad weather or repairs, is like paying rent on a building. Internet connectivity is probably more expensive since you'd connect through a cell phone. Things go wrong on boats all the time and that means either fixing the problem yourself or getting in expert electricians/mechanics/plumbers who charge a premium for their services, just like on land.

Why do people get so angry about living and working on a (small) boat? I put it down to not understanding what it entails. You simply think 'boat' and assume it means cocktails, beach parties and expensive whores. I know a lot of people who live and work on boats and it ain't like that. They can barely afford the whores
 
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28. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 1, 2016, 22:05 Beamer
 
Sepharo wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 19:08:
Beamer wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 11:46:
nin wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 07:06:
bliblob wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 00:43:
You seem to resent the fact he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

What exactly has he worked hard and been successful at? All I see are flops since 2000: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee#Games

I agree with the guy, he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

Which is why him asking us to donate our money to his leisure life is shitty.

But Beamer, why are you so lazy? Get out there and do something with your life man.

Listen, Sepharo. I'm tired of working. If every BluesNews poster gave me just $20 a month, I'd be able to spend the rest of my life sailing around foreign countries and occasionally spitting out some iPhone "game." It's win-win for you! I'll have Sarah McLaughlin do a commercial for me.

In all seriousness, I'm not the type of guy complaining about all of this (we all know who is.) When some big name comes out seeking Kickstarter money for his game, or movie, I don't complain. When creating something like that, we shouldn't expect the creator to bear 100% of the risk just because he's made some money. Usually that risk is nearly all he's earned.

But here? This isn't American seeking money for a project, it's him seeking money for his retirement. I pay into Social Security (which I somewhat suspect he no longer gets, as I doubt he's been paying American income tax in his time abroad, considering he isn't returning), I'm not paying into American McGee Security.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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27. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 1, 2016, 19:08 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 11:46:
nin wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 07:06:
bliblob wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 00:43:
You seem to resent the fact he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

What exactly has he worked hard and been successful at? All I see are flops since 2000: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee#Games

I agree with the guy, he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

Which is why him asking us to donate our money to his leisure life is shitty.

But Beamer, why are you so lazy? Get out there and do something with your life man.
 
Avatar 17249
 
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26. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 1, 2016, 11:46 Beamer
 
nin wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 07:06:
bliblob wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 00:43:
You seem to resent the fact he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

What exactly has he worked hard and been successful at? All I see are flops since 2000: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee#Games

I agree with the guy, he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

Which is why him asking us to donate our money to his leisure life is shitty.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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25. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 1, 2016, 07:06 nin
 
bliblob wrote on Aug 1, 2016, 00:43:
You seem to resent the fact he has worked hard and made a success of himself.

What exactly has he worked hard and been successful at? All I see are flops since 2000: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee#Games

This comment was edited on Aug 1, 2016, 07:13.
 
https://soundcloud.com/trentreznorandatticusross/sets/before-the-flood-soundtrack-1
https://dancewiththedead.bandcamp.com/
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24. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Aug 1, 2016, 00:43 bliblob
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 31, 2016, 11:49:

So, we shouldn't mock the guy deciding to walk away from a career in which he'd have numerous lucrative employment options to go sail around the world on a 36ft yacht and wants us to fund it?

A guy that made more in his career than many here combined?
Gotcha. That's "BS" and "untruths."

Happy you joined to correct us in how absolutely horrible we are in thinking that American McGee asking us to donate part of our salaries each month so that he can live his dream, despite already having run several development studios, which is already the dream for most here.



Love the way you have completely ignored the sentence "I joined in order to correct the rubbish that people post on forums, not to talk about how deserving American is or isn't."

This is typical of the point I was trying to make: people on forums misinterpret stuff, turn it round, make up stuff, and then post it to suit their grievance.

But, since you insist on an argument...

a) No, you shouldn't mock someone who has 'walked away from a career' until you get your facts straight. Spicy Horse wasn't working as American wanted any more. He gave it ten years in China and he has decided to move on. There were no 'numerous lucrative employment options' any more. The gaming market has changed, it was time for him to move the goal-posts.

b) He has moved his office from bricks and mortar to a sail boat. Like I said previously, a boat that cost less than your car. What's the problem with that? Is it so strange that someone should live on a boat and work from it?

c) Patreon, and other crowd-funding ventures, are new, 21st century business models that fit a changing business environment (just look at how the gaming market has shifted from $60 DVDs to free-to-download apps, as an example of the changing market). However, you are not obliged to pay anything. You don't want to help out? No problem, don't, no one's forcing you. But bitching about something with poorly-observed assumptions is leading you down a path of misinformation and illusion.

d) You are funding his development of games, something you, or the gaming market, has been doing his entire career. Are you so naive that you believe you were not funding him when he developed Quake, Doom, Alice et al? You're under the illusion that suddenly you're parting with your hard earned cash to help with the development of his new venture... when the irony is you've been doing this all along. Someone makes a product. You buy the product. The developer makes money from that product. He spends that money he made from the product. It's business, it's how the world works. Horrible, isn't it?

You seem to resent the fact he has worked hard and made a success of himself. The old 'only a dream for us', 'we don't earn what he does' arguments are tedious and a little childish. Change the record. Get a job, work hard and you might make a success of yourself too. I certainly won't resent you for it. But bitching about someone else's success is only going to eat you up, which is clearly evident from your posts. Channel your energy into something more positive instead of becoming a cliche.

Peace.
 
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23. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 31, 2016, 11:49 Beamer
 
bliblob wrote on Jul 31, 2016, 01:35:
Beamer wrote on Jul 29, 2016, 06:59:

I was wondering why this got bumped. Someone new joined just to talk about how deserving American is of our money for his dream.

Interesting.

Yes, it is interesting. I joined in order to correct the rubbish that people post on forums, not to talk about how deserving American is or isn't.

Misinformation is how untruths and rumours start, and unless someone challenges it people will go away thinking he's a lucky person who lives on a 'giant fucking yacht'. This statement was based on personal bitterness, not fact.

Nothing wrong with challenging BS. Reckon some forum users would benefit from doing the same instead of filling their heads with untruths.

So, we shouldn't mock the guy deciding to walk away from a career in which he'd have numerous lucrative employment options to go sail around the world on a 36ft yacht and wants us to fund it?

A guy that made more in his career than many here combined?
Gotcha. That's "BS" and "untruths."

Happy you joined to correct us in how absolutely horrible we are in thinking that American McGee asking us to donate part of our salaries each month so that he can live his dream, despite already having run several development studios, which is already the dream for most here.


 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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22. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 31, 2016, 01:35 bliblob
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 29, 2016, 06:59:

I was wondering why this got bumped. Someone new joined just to talk about how deserving American is of our money for his dream.

Interesting.

Yes, it is interesting. I joined in order to correct the rubbish that people post on forums, not to talk about how deserving American is or isn't.

Misinformation is how untruths and rumours start, and unless someone challenges it people will go away thinking he's a lucky person who lives on a 'giant fucking yacht'. This statement was based on personal bitterness, not fact.

Nothing wrong with challenging BS. Reckon some forum users would benefit from doing the same instead of filling their heads with untruths.
 
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21. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 29, 2016, 06:59 Beamer
 
bliblob wrote on Jul 29, 2016, 04:39:
Oh, this is SOOOO boring. You want a 'giant fucking yacht', go look up super-yachts. His boat is 36ft and probably cost less than your car. You can pick up a 36ft yacht for under $10,000. How is living on a small boat instead of a house being a 'greedy cunt'? Get some perspective and stop spreading misinformation. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

From what I understand this bloke had a real shitty upbringing, if that makes you feel any better. He just got off his ass and made something of himself. If slagging him off makes you feel good, well done, but it ain't gonna change the fact he's got balls to go do stuff that you can only dream about. Hating him for it on a public forum only demonstrates how sad you must be with your own lot. Get over yourselves.

Jealousy is an ugly trait, and you're proof of just how ugly it is.


I was wondering why this got bumped. Someone new joined just to talk about how deserving American is of our money for his dream.

Interesting.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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20. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 29, 2016, 04:48 bliblob
 
SE Asia is a MASSIVE area with millions of square miles of sea. Piracy is only a problem aboard commercial shipping, not private boats. There have been a couple of cases of attacks on private vessels, but SE Asia remains one of the biggest areas of boating in the world. There are literally hundreds of thousands of boats going about their business every day without incident. Educate yourself and stop making stuff up.  
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19. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 29, 2016, 04:39 bliblob
 
Oh, this is SOOOO boring. You want a 'giant fucking yacht', go look up super-yachts. His boat is 36ft and probably cost less than your car. You can pick up a 36ft yacht for under $10,000. How is living on a small boat instead of a house being a 'greedy cunt'? Get some perspective and stop spreading misinformation. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

From what I understand this bloke had a real shitty upbringing, if that makes you feel any better. He just got off his ass and made something of himself. If slagging him off makes you feel good, well done, but it ain't gonna change the fact he's got balls to go do stuff that you can only dream about. Hating him for it on a public forum only demonstrates how sad you must be with your own lot. Get over yourselves.

Jealousy is an ugly trait, and you're proof of just how ugly it is.

 
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18. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 17:12 Kxmode
 
Grokk wrote on Jul 24, 2016, 21:06:
What sort of greedy cunt details how they're going to sail around in a giant fucking yacht, then posts a patreon link for people to pay him to do so.

The same type of person who asks people to spend $350 on a JPG, and then keeps asking them to fork over more money for more JPGs.
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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17. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 09:24 Beamer
 
I'm actually kind of with Cutter. "Come support me as I quit the one dream most of you probably have, making video games, and take up the other dream you probably have, living on a sailboat, traveling around the world!"  
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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16. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 09:09 RedEye9
 
MONSTER ZERO wrote on Jul 25, 2016, 09:02:
RedEye9 wrote on Jul 24, 2016, 19:34:
I liked Alice: Madness Returns.
Best wishes to American.

I LOVED the first Alice game.
Madness Returns was generally disappointing and repetitive. Apparently Activision rushed the product, and it was left incomplete according to American and most people who played it.
Good enough to pull an 8.4 user score and 75 at metacritic with an 88% positive on steam.
 
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https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report
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15. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 09:02 MONSTER ZERO
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jul 24, 2016, 19:34:
I liked Alice: Madness Returns.
Best wishes to American.

I LOVED the first Alice game.
Madness Returns was generally disappointing and repetitive. Apparently Activision rushed the product, and it was left incomplete according to American and most people who played it.
 
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14. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 03:43 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 24, 2016, 23:47:
Grokk wrote on Jul 24, 2016, 21:06:
What sort of greedy cunt details how they're going to sail around in a giant fucking yacht, then posts a patreon link for people to pay him to do so.

Yeah, I know right. Hey guys, who wants to sponsor me via patreon while I get in a dogpile with some 10K a night callgirls and blast rails off their asses. Any pledge of $100 and I'll hit it for you one time.

Jesus, just another asshole who was in the right place at the right time proving yet again it's better to be lucky than good.

If only you'd been named "Canadian" instead of "Cutter"
 
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Stay a while, and listen.
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13. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 03:36 Sepharo
 
Tachikoma wrote on Jul 25, 2016, 02:43:
Somebody who puts "American" (or any other country) in his name has a great potential to turn out to be a shady twerp. Case in point ^^

Can't help what your parents name you
 
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12. Re: Spicy Horse Studios Closing Jul 25, 2016, 02:43 Tachikoma
 
Somebody who puts "American" (or any other country) in his name has a great potential to turn out to be a shady twerp. Case in point ^^  
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