American video game developer Spicy Horse taps into Chinese market
Electronic Arts Inc. content developer Spicy Horse Games plans to double its number of employees in China in the next 18 months
by Claudia Xie
Date Published: 11/15/2010
EA and Spicy Horse Games' Alice: The Madness Returns
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Electronic Arts Inc. game software creator Spicy Horse Games plans to expand its Shanghai company workforce from approximately 80 to 200 in the next 18 months. Founder American McGee expressed last week that the American-owned Shanghai company is aiming to sell online games in China, the world's largest Internet and game market by users. Spicy Horse was originally founded in 2006 to create and export games for Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation consoles. Recently the company expressed interest in the game market in China, which is estimated to double to $10 billion by 2014. However, the company will need to partner with a local game publisher who can help it comply with Chinese laws that forbid foreign-owned companies to directly operate online games in China.
Spicy Horse's latest creation – Alice: Madness Returns – is scheduled to be completed and released by next year. It will be the first console game entirely designed and developed in China for export. Other game developers, such as Kabam and Zynga Game Network, are also turning to Chinese game designers in order to cut costs, but as of now, they have no intentions of entering the highly-regulated market.
Spicy Horse founder McGee believes that although the two biggest local game companies -- Tencent Holdings Ltd and NetEase.com -- hold the majority of the market share in China, there is still room for other foreign productions. "We're going to force our way in," McGee tells the Chronicle.