American McGee Wants $200,000 To Finish His Game

Game designer American McGee — best known for designing the horror game Alice and its sequel, Alice: Madness Returns — has run out of money.

He and his studio Spicy Horse have been working on a game called Akaneiro for the past year-and-a-half. It's a free-to-play action-role-playing game set in ancient Japan that tells a twisted version of Red Riding Hood. It's on a bunch of platforms — PC, Mac, mobile, tablets — and it looks pretty good too.

But now, somehow, McGee and crew are out of money. So they're resorting to the gaming industry's panacea, Kickstarter. And asking you for $US200,000 to finish off their game.

"We desperately want the final form of Akaneiro to represent the great amount time and effort that's gone toward getting it this far," they write. "To finish what we've started and present Akaneiro to our players in a truly final state, we need to deliver our promised features to all target platforms. The problem is we're out of time and money to do so. That's where you come in."

Remember the days when game companies started making games and then actually finished them? Without panhandling on the internet? Ahh, nostalgia.

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters [Kickstarter via Polygon]


    I worry about the day when budgets are intentionally cut and planned around asking for the rest on kickstarter.

    I never understood how sacraficing all your day 1 sales just to get a game finished can be a good decision.

    Oh man I was so looking forward to this until now. I start to wonder how they can even ask for money ibn this case with it being free-to-play.

    Why would you back a free to play game? Unless there's a 'Avoid annoying pay to continue barriers' tier, then it just feels silly.

    But it isn't going to be free to play any more.

      But it even says free-to-play on the kickstarter.

      "We are pursuing free to play model because it offers more flexibility in sustaining the game after release."

      I'm confused now.

    I'll be contributing to this Kickstarter. The output and vision of Spicy Horse is enough to convince me.

    @Jake, you'd back it because it's interesting. Also "We will never apply prohibitive costs to core gameplay content or character progression. Nothing will be off limits to non-paying players."

      Hello employee of Spicey Horse, welcome to kotaku :)

        Errmm... i'd actually back it =P

        I do like Alice and was looking forward to Akaneiro myself! If picthing in gets it finished and some perks for me as well why not?

    Would it be possible for large game company to finish a game 100% and keep the lid on it.
    Make a Kickstarter for $50,000 just for fun?

    If there's nothing in place to stop this, then I'm sure they're doing it.

    Hey American McGee.
    A lot of people have bills to pay and shouldn't be shaken down for cash because your team ran out of money. You should learn to cope with the budget you have or maybe approach these wonderful things called "Publishers" I understand they give money.
    Kind regards.


    Actually upon reading the actual Kickstarter I call balls on this "were broke" heading =_=

    According to the Kickstarter the game is practically done and dusted for PC/Windows. Their already doing closed beta and moving for open beta. AFAIK the whole point of the KS is just to add compatibility for Tablet/IOS and tweak multiplayer. The rest of the stuff are just features they want to add in game.

    I mean any publicity is good publicity they say but the fact Kotaku is insinuating that this KS is basically trying to rip ppl off is kinda low to say the least.

      200,000 to add compatibility for Tablet and IOS?!? American McGee is a well known game developer in the industry who has released two mainstream titles (one VERY recently), and him asking for 200k so they can try and make a larger profit by putting it on more systems is ridiculous.... This whole kick starter thing has gone downhill... It was meant to be a way for upcoming indie people to get their foot in the door... Now all we're seeing are people like American McGee and Peter Molyneux just rock up, cry poor and get the people that ironically enough, they'll be selling the game to, to help fund the bloody project. Maybe Kick Starter needs to change this model so instead of getting some bs crappy award like a copy of the game, they get whatever % they put in from sales. Why should people fund something that these companies are then going to go off and make money on!??!?! BOGGLES THE MIND IT DOES!!!

        I think you might be dramatically overestimating the success of McGee and his games and underestimating the cost of running a large studio, even in China. Just because he puts his name on the box, doesn't mean he's a big player.

    The problem is we’re out of time and money to do so.

    Is that just a figure of speech because it means that even if they had the money, they have no time to complete the game in.

    Unfortunately, Alice: Madness Returns was an unoriginal, badly designed game... though the art style was great. The game was just another Unreal3 skinnerbox.

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