American McGee has accused publisher EA of tricking gamers with its promotional materials for the action-adventure title, Alice: Madness Returns.
The teaser trailer contained images of a far darker Alice: Madness Returns.
CVG reports that the 2011 follow-up to American McGee’s popular 2000 PC game was not represented accurately in the EA promotional campaign.
McGee said on Reddit that he believes EA intended to “mislead” gamers into expecting a more gritty title. “What is frustrating was how EA marketing interfered - telling STS (the external creative agency responsible for the Alice trailers) from the start that all creative direction and final say would come from them, not from us (the developer/creator of the story/tone),” he said.
“That resulted in trailer that were much darker and gorier than the game...and that was a calculated disconnected created by EA. They want to ‘trick’ gamers into believing that A:MR was a hardcore horror title, even though we refused to develop it in that tone,” said McGee.
"But, the teaser trailers turned out to be just that... and didn't depict the Alice: Madness Returns that I played."
“Their thinking is, even if the game isn’t a hardcore horror title, you can market it as one and trick those consumers 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 that EA, Activision and the other big pubs are engaged in. Expect to see it get worse before it gets better.”
McGee owns Spicy Horse Studios – the mad developers responsible for Alice: Madness Returns – and is currently working on Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, a Kickstarter project.