American McGee’s Exit From Game Dev Is A Huge Bummer

American McGee’s Exit From Game Dev Is A Huge Bummer

Three days ago, American McGee announced the end of an era. I can’t help but feel really, really sad about the whole thing.

On his Patreon, McGee said that after the release and completion of the 414-page Alice: Asylum Design Bible, he went back to EA in an effort to get the new game made. The publisher was provided “the Design Bible and a Production Plan (produced in collaboration with Virtuos Games) outlining the schedule, budget, team, and design for the new game’s production”, according to McGee.

Unfortunately, the response from EA was apparently a huge stinker. Not only did they decide to pass on the project “based on an internal analysis of the IP, market conditions, and details of the production proposal”, but McGee also says that they’re also not willing to sell or license the IP back to him “right now”. That means that even without EA, McGee wouldn’t be able to make the game.

This post then was followed by a thank you to everyone who worked on what they had so far, and then  an ultimate retirement from game production entirely:

For my part, I have also reached an endpoint with “Alice” and with game production in general. I have no other ideas or energy left to apply toward getting a new Alice game made. Nor do I have any interest in pursuing new game ideas within the context of the current environment for game development.

This entire situation, as a fan of the Alice series, is incredibly heartbreaking. McGee said that EA reached out to him and asked him if he wanted to “explore making a new Alice game” but barred him and his team from booting up a game engine due to legal complications. This led them to make the Design Bible, only for EA to turn around and be like, “Nah!”. That’s showbiz, I guess.

Alice: Madness Returns was a pivotal game in shaping my taste in video games when I was a teenager, and was probably the first game I played that made me appreciate more than just gameplay in a title. The aesthetic choices and overall visual design of both American McGee’s Alice and Alice: Madness Returns were intricately detailed and beautifully done, and it made me appreciate that kind of thing in games going forward.

I was one of the people that decided to download the Design Bible and see what could be, or now I guess what could’ve been. Believe me when I say that the concept and design for Alice: Asylum were completely done. The Design Bible covered literally everything, it was a completely thought-out presentation of what the game would include, from narrative beats to gameplay mechanics to overall design. They even had a different costume for Alice for each chapter decided.

It’s usually pretty neat to see the odd bit of content from an unreleased game a la an 11GB drop of archived game footage or a developer releasing footage of a cancelled game. We think, “Oh, that’s cool as hell!” or “Darn, I wish that got released.” However, this is a case where a team had a fully realised idea and worked with what they could in order to present it to a company that asked for it, and got rejected. It’s a real shame!

On the bright side, it seems like McGee is still going strong with his plushie business so power to him. I’ll never forget the cock snail.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


2 responses to “American McGee’s Exit From Game Dev Is A Huge Bummer”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *