American McGee is another one of the developers who believe that free-to-play is the future and that consoles are simply doomed if they don’t break away from the current model.
McGee’s studio, Spicy Horse, is now focused on free-to-play browser-based games and is doing a lot better than when it released the mildly acclaimed action adventure Alice: Madness Returns (a great game in our opinion, although the levels we’re stretched too far and may end up boring the player).
McGee told Game Informer that “Earning out on a console title is like digging out from under an avalanche.” He explained the analogy, saying that unless you get to profit soon enough then it’s all over, while in free-to-play there’s the option to release a game and improve it until it returns a profit. While he admits that nothing is granted, it’s an option that should be taken advantage of.
McGee said that the studio has seen its online F2P games generate more profit and return on investment than Alice: Madness Returns ever did or will, so his point is pretty clear.
The idea of the current console model not working in the near future is something McGee strongly believes, stating that “the idea of physical media (discs) and fixed location gaming (consoles) now seems anachronistic.” He says that the revolution that is currently happening will bring more freedom for future publishers, developers and consumers.
Spicy Horse is based in Shanghai and has a workforce of 50 people, currently developing three games. Free-to-play games, we might add.