McGee’s F2P games making more profit than Alice: Madness Returns “ever did”

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:24 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Alice developer American McGee has dismissed a future for consoles in their current form, saying the idea was doomed from the start.

Spicy Horse boss American McGee has said the traditional console model will not survice, and that his free-to-play, web-based games are generating more money for the company that the EA-published Alice: Madness Returns “ever did”.

“Earning out on a console title is like digging out from under an avalanche,” he told Game Informer.

“If you don’t get out from under the advances within a very short period of time it’s all over. F2P offers an opportunity to release something into the wild and improve it continually until it returns a profit. Making good on the opportunity is in no way guaranteed, but the option is there. This all being the case, we’ve already seen our online F2P games generate more profit and a better ROI than [Alice: Madness Returns] ever did, or likely will.”

McGee was assured in his assessment of the current console model: it won’t work going forward.

“Though the console market extracted two decades of profit and mindshare from Western developers and consumers, it was unsustainable from inception,” he said.

“Looked at from the perspective of external markets where consoles aren’t the foundation of the gaming ecosystem, the idea of physical media (discs) and fixed location gaming (consoles) now seems anachronistic.

“But it’s worth examining where the money flowed in a market where consoles dominated and how they helped consolidate power among a handful of publishers. The transition we’re now seeing is a revolution of the model that will lead to greater freedom for future publishers, developers and consumers.”

Spicy Horsew publishes several web-based F2P games, such as BigHeadBash. The Shanghai-based studio employs 50 people, and has three original games in development.