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.