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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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  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]