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American McGee Says EA "Wanted To Trick Gamers" With Alice Marketing

by Andrew Reiner on Jan 21, 2013 at 02:22 PM

American McGee, the creative director of the Alice video game series and the upcoming Kickstarter project Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, wasn't fond of Electronic Arts' marketing focus for Alice: Madness Returns. In his most recent Ask Me Anything Q&A on Reddit, he said that EA was trying to mislead gamers into thinking Alice: Madness Returns was a hardcore horror game.

McGee says Shy the Sun, the creators behind Alice: Madness Returns' trailers, were "fantastic in terms of creativity," but followed EA's instruction more than Spicy Horse's.

"What is frustrating was how EA marketing interfered – telling STS from the start that ALL creative direction and final say would come from them, not from us (the developer/creator of the story/tone)," McGee says. "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 to the bottom EA, Activision and the other big pubs are engaged in. Expect to see it get worse before it gets better."

McGee isn't all doom and gloom in his answers. Most of the questions he fields provide great insight into the video game creation process.


[via Joystiq]