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American McGee retracts EA marketing claims

"It attracted a few pissed messages from EA"

Game developer American McGee has taken back his accusations that EA "tricked" customers with trailers for Alice: Madness returns, after receiving angry messages from the publisher.

"'Tricked' is the wrong word. I take that back," said McGee in a blogpost that addressed his comments in a Reddit AMA earlier this week.

"Apologies to EA and anyone else whose feelings were hurt. Electronic Arts doesn't trick customers into buying things. They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response. If they were bad at this sort of thing they'd have been crushed by their competitors long ago and you'd be playing Madden Football from Activision or Atari or something."

"If EA were bad at this sort of thing they'd have been crushed by their competitors long ago and you'd be playing Madden Football from Activision"

American McGee

He revealed as well as press coverage for the statements he'd received "a few pissed messages from EA," and suggested that there would always be some tension between game creators and the publishers that sell them.

"I've got (well, had) a good relationship with EA. They helped put my name on the map. They funded two of my favourite creations. And they helped me bring strikingly original content to a gaming world that often seems dominated by bullets and boobs. I can't and don't fully fault them or their marketing for whatever the Alice games might or might not have done sales-wise."

EA has chosen not to comment publicly on the situation.

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Latest comments (12)

Eric Weis Financial Analyst, Bethesda Softworks3 years ago
Uh... the pull quote is attributed to George Orwell.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers3 years ago
Uh... the pull quote is attributed to George Orwell.
Quote attribution has been corrected.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve3 years ago
I wonder if anyone will take this at face value. Certainly not me, this is a man that bit the hand that feeds, and now regrets it.
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Show all comments (12)
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response
I want to do air-quotes for the bolded section.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus3 years ago
@Thomas - Oh, he's full of crap. He might as well have curled up into the foetal position while mouthing "please don't hurt me".
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Dont bite the hand that feeds
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Jack Nilssen Independent Game Developer, Dark Acre3 years ago
Hey American, the time to complain about how your game is handled is the moment it's being handled. Otherwise you look like an attention-seeking so-and-so.

GG, McGee.
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 3 years ago
Talk about backtracking lol. Its like hes being stood over by some EA henchmen with baseball bats while typing that.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Steve Nicholls on 24th January 2013 8:59am

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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
I don't see how this is backtracking. He said exactly the same thing... only this time it was in 'corporate-speak'.

Just like people* like to use "downsizing" or "rightsizing" rather than "laying-off" or "firing".

*When I say people we all recognise that CEOs and other high-level suits aren't real people. ;)
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‎"'Tricked' is the wrong word ... They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response."

Sooo...in other word, EA's proven marketing technique is to trick the customers?
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David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
"Electronic Arts doesn't trick customers into buying things."

Information asymmetry / adverse selection is the essence of all advertising, marketing, promotion and public relations. The goal is to only provide the other party / parties in a transaction with advantageous information while purposely withholding negative or unfavorable information. So the goal of all advertising is to trick consumers and clients into buying goods and services. The only modern exception may be pharmaceutical advertising since the companies are required by law to warn consumers about side effects.

And EA absolutely did trick, a.k.a. mislead, a.k.a. lie to a million or more consumers with the marketing of Mass Effect 2. The established audience for the franchise had a reasonable expectation ME 2 would also be a hybrid RPG - shooter with the emphasis on the RPG aspects of the game. EA was required by law to define how "a person not trained in law" would interpret the claims they planned to make about ME 2 as not to mislead consumers. And EA still marketed, advertised and promoted ME 2 as an RPG (it's still labeled an RPG on Origin), which only reinforced the reasonable expectations of consumers. They didn't release a demo prior to release because a demo would have allowed the established audience to see the drastic nature of changes they'd made, which would have negatively impacted sales and profits. And it certainly seems like EA successfully "persuaded" all of the high profile gaming sites, blogs and magazines to intentionally withhold or dramatically downplay all information about the nature and extent of the changes in previews and reviews. How EA managed to avoid an FTC investigation and fine for ME 2 is still beyond me.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 24th January 2013 5:30pm

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Gareth Eckley Commercial Analyst 3 years ago
Whore slapped by pimp for talking out of line. News at 11.
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