McGee: EA Misrepresented Madness Returns

Appearing on Reddit to answer questions is a great way to raise awareness and funding for Kickstarter ventures, and the latest is former id Software programmer American McGee. On the subject of his last game, Alice: Madness Returns, McGee revealed he felt EA intentionally misrepresented the game, in what he calls the big publishers' "race to the bottom".

Don't you just hate it when the game doesn't look like the trailer?

The former id Software ace, now with Spicy Horse studios in China, claimed on Reddit that EA wanted Madness Returns to look like a horror game, belying its true, more casual, nature.

Having gone to EA's play sessions for the game, and interviewed McGee, I interpreted Alice's nature as an aesthetics-over-gameplay approach, and I was very aware that it was only the first few levels. Indeed, with only a half hour experience of the game, it's hard to call it out for being a different product than that being sold - who's to say the "madness" doesn't return later on?

But according to the Ask Me Anything post on Reddit, McGee claims there was an intentional effort on EA's part to mislead gamers, mainly by retaining creative control of the game's trailers, which were outsourced to another company.

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.

As evidenced by Valve's Greenlight program, horror games are very popular at the moment. More popular than the supposedly wider casual games market? Who can say. Popular enough to trick your own customers? Probably not.

EA tried to trick gamers regarding the tone of Alice – American McGee [Gameplanet]


    Appearing on Reddit is also a great way to appear on Kotaku.

    I actually recently got given Madness Returns as a gift, and while I only tried it out for about an hour, I thought it was fun. It still had a nicely warped aesthetic going on, but in a fun way instead of a scary way, kind of like The Addams Family or Nightmare Before Christmas.

    Love that the first, not for everyone but it definitely has its niche with a core cadre of fans.

    And when you think about it, the core reveal of the story is a fair bit darker than most horror games.

    I've played it a bit, and I still think I'd classify it as a horror game, or at least containing horror elements. It's not scary, but the world and enemy designs as well as the story does have a horror vibe about it.

    This kinda surprises me. There are some genuinely dark scenes and themes going on in Madness Returns, particularly towards the end. It's not relentlessly gory or anything, but I'd hardly call it a casual game suitable for many audiences that the trailer would have turned off.

    I've heard good things about Alice: Madness Returns, but don't bother with the PC version.

    My other half (which most of you will know on Twitter as @Asheleah) has the PC version, which she cannot get past a certain stage due to a known issue (confirmed by EA, nothing done about it though) where you need the shield umbrella to defeat a boss, and you can only reflect the attacks of the boss but not attack directly.

    Did anyone, I mean anyone,...genuinely think 'A:MR was a hard-core horror title'.

    Some people really have their heads stuck up their ass..oh but this is EA games we're talking about, they must enjoy screwing over the little guy as the big corporate entity.

    i didn't even notice that the game was that much different from the trailers.. because i thought the game was awesome! i enjoyed it immensely - and everyone knows EA suck. worst company in the world - fact.

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