Last week, Kotaku wrote about Akaneiro, the newest game by American McGee and his studio Spicy Horse (developers of Alice: Madness Returns). Specifically, Kotaku wrote about the studio’s KickStarter page, saying it was created because they were “out of money,” and needed fan money to finish off the game. Well, American McGee caught wind of this article, and have made a response to clear up a few things said in the article. And to Kotaku’s credit, it’s been posted on Kotaku itself by the author of the original article, Jason Schreier.
In response to the game not being finished, American McGee said the game is “100% finished,” and that “The company is not out of money. The project was completed on time, on budget and will be shipped this month (Jan 2013.) It has been in Closed Beta with 25k people having run through it since late last year.”
In direct response to the KickStarter campaign, McGee had this to say: “When the Akaneiro team says they are ‘out of money/time’ it just means they came to the natural end of their development cycle on that project… The KS campaign would allow them to extend that – something we’d ask a publisher to consider were we funded that way. We’re not, so we ask the audience instead.”
To clarify how a game can be finished, but not finished, he added:
“‘What’s been achieved both artistically and mechanically is fantastic… but it’s just not enough to call the game complete, to satisfy our fans or ourselves. THIS is the main idea. We’re not satisfied. We’d like to take the game further and make it better. In the days when we were funded by a publisher, we would have asked them to review our ideas for additional features and approve (or not) a longer development cycle. 99% of the time they would have said ‘no.’
As we are not publisher funded, and because we can’t afford to continue development indefinitely, we’re asking the audience – we’re giving them a chance to decide whether or not these additional features sound worthwhile. Whatever the response, the game will launch this month (January 2013) in a state that is ‘final’ per our existing internal schedule and budge. Support for the title will continue going forward, but will be focused on the existing product – with not a lot of time or resources available for adding new platforms or major features.”
The end of this little tit for tat concluded with a response to what was said at the end of the original article, when Kotaku writer Jason Schreier wrote “Remember the days when game companies started making games and then actually finished them? Without panhandling on the Internet? Ahh, nostalgia.” McGee’s response?
“Remember when developers just went out of business because publishers let them die? Or when half-finished games were forced to market and the developer took the blame? Or when misleading marketing campaigns duped players into buying something they had no interest in to begin with?”