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#1 Edited by psykhophear (1277 posts) -

This may be old news but since I don't see any official postings here at GiantBomb, I thought I'd mention it now.

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As of July 23rd 2016, Spicy Horse, the Shanghai-based company that made Alice: Madness Returns, had ceased operations. It's founder, American McGee (level designer on Doom and Quake), is now focusing on smaller indie game development using Patreon. If you like his work then I encourage you to support him here where he releases vlogs on a regular basis. He shares his love of sailing across South-East Asia and even making games in the ocean blue. Unheard of, I know!

I sincerely hope this is not the end of the Alice games, in which EA currently holds the rights to. The company's recent sequel of sorts called Alice: Otherlands was an interesting attempt but honestly not good enough. This animated continuation that features only 2 episodes (here's one of them) is pretty nifty in its own right but lacks any substance. Fingers cross that we will eventually see the continuation of Alice's journey in Wonderland in the near future, preferably in a form of a video game.

To all those who had worked in Spicy Horse for all those years, thanks for everything!

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#2 Posted by glots (4297 posts) -

Didn't even know Alice: Otherlands was a thing before reading this. I loved the original Alice because of it's creepy tune and the fact that the PC market wasn't exactly overflowing with third-person action platformers, so it felt refreshing to me. I'll admit that I never expected to see a sequel for it, let alone 11 years later, but I liked Madness Returns as well, even if it had it's flaws.

Shame this happened, but maybe they (or some of them) will succeed better with smaller projects.

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#3 Posted by Eder (638 posts) -

Sucks to see any game studio close. I got the Xbox 360 version and it came with the OG Alice. I've always wanted to try it out.

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#4 Edited by WheresDerrick (326 posts) -

This is all unfortunate. I always liked the irony in someone named American opening a studio not in America; also Madness Returns is one of four games my wife has ever played, which is interesting as the other three are fable 2/3, the sims, and jackbox.

Did he ever have any luck finding his sister?

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#5 Posted by psykhophear (1277 posts) -
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#6 Edited by mlarrabee (3917 posts) -

That's disappointing. I hadn't heard of Alice: Otherlands before; too bad we won't see it.

American's had a rough turn in life. I wish him the very best and I'm curious to see what creative projects he starts on next.

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#7 Posted by psykhophear (1277 posts) -

@mlarrabee: The game won't be made anytime soon but there do exists an animated feature film, which was the original premise crowfunded on Kickstarter.

Here are two episodes of Alice: Otherlands that have been available:

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#8 Posted by CornBREDX (7364 posts) -

I'm not surprised. It seems like American McGee always makes really cool games conceptually but in practice are broken in some way. The last Alice game was competent, but not as interesting as the first one was. I don't think I finished it for some reason. I don't remember why. I may go back to it at some point. I had only heard rumors of the third game, but I don't know what to think of what it might have been. It couldn't be worse than Scrapland (different company run by American McGee but still... man I really wanted that game to be good but it was so broken).

I wish American Mcgee could make more games. Better games would be cool, too. He has a really cool head for ideas and aesthetically interesting concepts, but mechanically none of his games have been all that great except maybe the Alice games (and even there some would argue they're not great mechanically either). Well, GRIMM was ok mechanically too, but that game is super easy and lacks any depth.

Ya, this is a shame, but I wouldn't support him on Patreon. You never know what you're gonna get with American Mcgee. If he comes up with something interesting, though, I'll always buy it. His mind is a video game treasure.

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#9 Posted by psykhophear (1277 posts) -

@cornbredx: After Madness Returns, he did make other F2P games for smartphones but yeah, they aren't as good as Alice. Perhaps now as an indie developer, he will regain back his control control and start making excellent games like before.

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#10 Posted by Asurastrike (2306 posts) -

Not trying to troll here, but did that studio ever release a good game?

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#11 Posted by psykhophear (1277 posts) -

@asurastrike: Ouch! Well, aside from Madness Returns, they did release some decent F2P games for smartphones...

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#12 Posted by awesomeusername (4643 posts) -

I got confused and thought this company was the makers of Octodad but that's Young Horses. I wonder what they're doing. Probably rolling in octocash.