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American McGee apologises for EA “trick” statement

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:30 GMT By Dave Cook

American McGeee has posted an apology on his blog, after stating on Reddit that EA had ‘tricked’ the public into thinking the Spicy Horse game Alice: Madness Returns was a hardcore horror game. McGee has now retracted the statement and apologised to EA.

We covered McGee’s initial statement in full here. I suggest you take a wee gander at it before proceeding to see where the issues lie.

Over on McGee’s blog, the developer has addressed the media shitstorm that followed his statement.

“To my surprise,” he wrote, “this ignited a firestorm of press coverage from the game media. It attracted a few pissed messages from EA. Some readers have even suggested this has killed any possibility of my ever being employed by a game publisher again.

“Allow me to expand on my original post while at the same time making a correction (call it a retraction if you like). “Tricked” is the wrong word. I take that back. Apologies to EA and anyone else whose feelings were hurt. Electronic Arts doesn’t trick customers into buying things.

“They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response. If they were bad at this sort of thing they’d have been crushed by their competitors long ago and you’d be playing Madden Football from Activision or Atari or something.”

McGee then goes on to explain that the relationship between marketers and developers often leads to disagreements and that we now live in a world where the big marketing buck and flashy promises are commonplace.

“Beyond that,” he continues, “there has always been and likely always will be tension between publishers and developers over stuff like this. Truth is, publishers are giving audiences what they want – again, if they weren’t they wouldn’t stay in business very long.

“Maybe I don’t agree with where gaming content seems to be going – but isn’t that the prerogative of aging creators? To complain that things are too loud, too bright or too fleshy?”

“At the end of the day, I’ve got (well, had) a good relationship with EA. They helped put my name on the map. They funded two of my favorite creations. And they helped me bring strikingly original content to a gaming world that often seems dominated by bullets and boobs.

“I can’t and don’t fully fault them or their marketing for whatever the “Alice” games might or might not have done sales-wise. As a developer, do I grumble into my beer about how it could have been different if only… ? Sure do! But I also recognize my own faults, and actions which are to blame for things not being 100%… or for inadvertently igniting firestorms.”

What’s your take on the issue? Was Alice: Madness Returns marketed untruthfully by EA, or is this now the state of the world we live in? Let us know below.

Thanks Eurogamer.

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14 Comments

  1. unacomn

    “Electronic Arts doesn’t trick customers into buying things.”

    Spore

    #1 2 years ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    “They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response.” How diplomatically put! But, it remains a mere rewording of the initial opinion stated to press. Looks like that particular buzzword stang.

    If they hadn’t saught to push this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFrs5UGB-ns as the marketing vision (who can forget: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8TNkeHk3Fo), then they wouldn’t have had reason to be called out on it – now that we find the developer had no intent to create a game along those lines – no matter how succintly the message was lifted. It wouldn’t surprise me that the same people are currently handling Dead Space next.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. LuLshuck

    I personally think the guy is talking shit about ea, i for one never thought the game looked like a horror

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    EA: Take it back or we will sue you for every penny you have, or ever will earn.

    AM: Shit.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

    Sounds like biting the hand that feeds you in my opinion. It’s not like in the last 10 years or more EA has been anything but a mega corporate publisher. Same goes with Activision.

    Yet developers and gamers, often talk as if they’re surprised by the way EA handle things. Like they were expecting to be working for some nice old guy ready to throw money at whatever dreams they have for games. Often in spite of actually getting these devs to a level where they’re quoted by news sites.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. deathm00n

    Not much of a apology. “They carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response” is just a fancy way of saying trick into buying.

    Anyway, he’s right, the trailer has nothing to do with the game, it’s an awesome game, I really liked it. But when i downloaded it I thought it was going to be way more darker because of those trailers, so yeah, I fell in their trick.

    As I did with spore like @1 said.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    @4: This “statement” reeks of legal running interference, absolutely.

    @5: Fine, but the thing is that they control the message. The pubs control what we read. When I look at it, examine the point of a publishing business, I don’t know that I blame them. I see why they may behave in a restrictive way. But, I enjoy playing games. I don’t want; it doesn’t interest me to too much consider the machinations at work. I don’t want to spend my money on tat. I don’t want to, through so doing, enable and progress cynical/destructive practices that harm my interest (and of others) as a consumer, to know what is on offer and decide how to proceed from as informed a perspective as possible:

    So, how are people supposed to satisfy their reasonable business to make sure that they are buying and supporting games that are worth that, if the developer’s getting strong-armed out, and marketing playing fast-and-loose, with a safety net of “belief” for cover (that could only diminish after the cash rolled in), pubs have cut back on demos increasingly, so that’s another chance for players to see the way things are removed (Extra Credits did an informative video, I thought it really good, but let’s not bring that in every time we discuss the effect in the reduction in demo offering)

    So, then you might look to the media, but there’s typically a bit of a symbiotic relationship between pub and them with games, to where the message remains controlled – is that information even yet been made available to them.
    I often think the best talker about a game is the game once it’s available. But, to get its say, there’s a price. Publishers are (and have been) burning too many bridges. If I don’t KNOW it. I don’t want it. Being up-front. Is that too much to ask, for “$60″?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. KrazyKraut

    what a wuss.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    @7, And the best way to avoid needing to run everything or be controlled by a publisher is being an indie. Which obviously isn’t easy but then not every dev gets picked up by a major publisher and some people have no choice but to make their game independently.

    I just wish people would accept the work they have done as well as the money and recognition they’ve probably received from working with a publisher.

    Most of the time statements like this strike me as headline grabs to get themselves some media attention. Strange he makes this comment now while he has a Kickstarter that needs funding. Very similar to the story by the ex-Harmonix guys that left a corp and also currently have a Kickstarter.

    All I’m saying is that it’s not just publishers that trick or manipulate gamers. This is indies way of advertising by promoting the “stick it to the man” attitude that anti-publisher gamers lap up all day long.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    I still think most of EA’s marketing fucking sucks.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ps3fanboy

    EA ARE SCABS, FUCK OFF EA WE DON’T NEED YOU!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Samoan Spider

    @4 I smell male bovine excrement and I think you have the measure of it.

    And his careful paraphrasing is a poke in the eye for EA to conform.

    Peter Molyneux is a prime example of why some devs need publishers, but some honesty wouldn’t kill them surely.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. manamana

    Yep, he definitely got a call.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. mobiugearskin

    This game wasnt sold than anything other than what it was.

    And people saying we “dont need EA” etc… Wake up. They pump millions into development. Into marketing. Into distribution.

    Fools.

    #14 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]