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American McGee: EA tricked Alice customers

Spicy Horse dev isn't pleased with EA's marketing team

Alice: The Madness Returns developer American McGee has complained about the way publisher EA's demands led to the game being presented in trailers, suggesting it tried to "trick" gamers.

"What was frustrating was how EA Marketing interfered - telling [Shy The Sun] from the start that ALL creative direction and final say would come from them, not from us (the developer/creator of the story/tone)," said McGee in a Reddit AMA session, while discussing working with creative concept resource Shy The Sun.

"EA wanted to 'trick' gamers into believing Alice: Madness Returns was a hard-core horror title, even though we refused to develop it in that tone."

"That resulted in trailers that were much darker and gorier than the game ... and that was a calculated disconnect created by EA. They wanted to 'trick' gamers into believing A:MR was a hard-core horror title, even though we refused to develop it in that tone."

"Their thinking is, even if the game isn't a hard-core horror title, you can market it as one and trick those customers into buying it (while driving away more casual customers, like female gamers, who might be turned off by really dark trailers). It's all a part of the race."

McGee announced the Alice sequel in 2009, and it was released with EA as a publisher in June 2011. It achieved a score of 70 on Metacritic. McGee and Spicy Horse's latest project is free-to-play title Akaneiro: Demon Hunters.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.