Video game developer American McGee believes that publisher Electronic Arts was actively trying to trick gamers with the information that it was offering during the development process for Alice: Madness Returns.
Speaking during a Reddit-hosted Ask Me Anything session, the developer stated, “What was 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).”
The trailers were mostly to blame because they showed a game world that was focused on violence and on gore rather than on the variety of colors and ideas that American McGee tried to create.
The developer adds, “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).”
When Alice: Madness Returns was launched during summer 2011, the game was well received but failed to be a commercial success.
The game mixes sequences set in the real world and in a twisted version of Wonderland and has a very distinct art style.
American McGee is no longer working with Electronic Arts.
The developer is at the moment collaborating with Spicy Horse on the creation of a new title called Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, which is currently in beta and is seeking funding via the Kickstarter service.
The game aims to mix a variety of genres, including action and role playing, and uses Japanese mythology and the story of Red Riding Hood as the core elements of a new universe.
The game will use a free-to-play business model and will allow players to create a character and tackle a number of challenges, working with other players and upgrading their own abilities.