American McGee: EA 'wanted to trick gamers' with Alice marketing campaign

Nature of game was obscured by publisher's push for hardcore audience

American McGee has accused EA of misleading consumers with the promotional material for Alice: Madness Returns.


The 2011 title - a follow-up to the popular PC game - wasn't accurately represented by EA's marketing campaign, McGee claimed during an AMA on Reddit. He believes EA wanted to "mislead" gamers into expected something grittier.

"What is frustrating was how EA marketing interfered - telling STS (the external creative agency responsible for the Alice trailers) from the start that all creative direction and final say would come from them, not from us (the developer/creator of the story/tone)," he said.

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

He continued: "Their thinking is, even if the game isn't a hardcore 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 to the bottom that EA, Activision and the other big pubs are engaged in. Epect to see it get worse before it gets better."

American McGee's Spicy Horse stuido is currently working on the Kickstarter-funded Akaneiro: Demon Hunters.