American McGee Retracts ‘Tricked’ Remarks In Apology Of Sorts

American McGee Retracts ‘Tricked’ Remarks In Apology Of Sorts

While in a Reddit AMA, game designer American McGee said that EA wanted to “trick” gamers into thinking Alice: Madness Returns was as dark as its marketing and called this tactic part of a “race to the bottom”.

Today, Shanghai-based McGee offered a correction or an apology of sorts. “Allow me to expand on my original post while at the same time making a correction (call it a retraction if you like),” blogged McGee. “‘Tricked’ is the wrong word. I take that back. 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.”

McGee goes on to discuss how the game was marketed and the apparent disconnect between how he saw the game and how EA saw the game.

“At the end of the day,” added McGee, “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. As a developer, do I grumble into my beer about how it could have been different if only… ? Sure do! But I also recognise my own faults, and actions which are to blame for things not being 100%… or for inadvertently igniting firestorms.”

You can read the full post in the link below.

You Can’t Escape [American McGee]


  • Is it just me that thinks American McGee is more style over substance? Cool name, rips off Tim Burton, makes okay games, talks a lot of shit which he then needs to correct…

    • I don’t think Tim Burton owns the “dark version of traditional story” idea – but yeah his games seem to be created by artists with the gameplay taking second billing.

        • I was amazed that I got to the end of Alice Madness Returns; and that I wasn’t offended with how such a mature (and dark) story was told. But it was a mission finishing it, the whole world was beautiful but just felt empty.

    • I love madness returns an intresting adaptation to Alice’s adventures in wonderland, the art is amazing more games should be more artistic driven but still get those core game mechanics down. In the case of tim burton he has made some excellent strong designed characters but has butchered the story cutting so much out

    • Rips off Tim Burton?! Wow! Because these styles belong to Burton! I hate this! And McGee’s Alice is million times better than what shitty Burton could put together!

    • I think that retraction shows a remarkable amount of substance.
      It’s careful without being pedantic, it’s conciliatory without offering a blanket mea culpa.

  • He’s kind of right about EA’s marketing. They often don’t market the game as it is, but the game that they think will sell better. E.g. Brutal Legend being marketed as a free-roaming brawler, without any mention of the RTS gameplay.

    It’s possible they sell more games that way, but they also end up with pretty disappointed customers.

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