EA tried to trick gamers into thinking Alice: Madness Returns was a horror game according to game designer American McGee.
During a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, the Spicy Horse founder claimed that EA’s marketing department purposefully mislead consumers about the nature of the Alice sequel.
His issue was with the game’s trailers – produced by animation outfit Shy The Sun – which made Madness Returns look like a horror title.
“What was frustrating was how EA Marketing interfered - telling Shy The Sun 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 wrote.
“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.”
McGee believes he knows why EA made that decision.
“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.”
Elsewhere in the AMA, McGee spoke about the inspirations for Alice (The Dark Crystal, among others), the chances of a Madness Returns movie or sequel, and more.
Spicy Horse’s latest project is Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, whose Kickstarter has raised US$98,148 of its US$200,000 goal and has 12 days remaining.