American McGee, lead designer on Alice: Madness Returns, has said that EA’s marketing campaign for the game tried to trick gamers.
Speaking during an AMA session on Reddit, McGee discussed working with Cape Town based creative concept agency Shy The Sun to create the game’s CGI marketing trailers. McGee said that Shy The Sun did a great job on the creative side, but was undermined by EA who exercised full creative direction control and had the final say on the output.
As per McGee:
They are fantastic in terms of creativity and capability. If you check out the trailers they did for A:MR, all you can say is “Wow!” 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). That resulted in trailers that were much darker and gorier than the game … and that was a calculated disconnect created by EA. They wanted to “trick” gamers into believing A:MR was a hard-core horror title, even though we refused to develop it in that tone.
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). It’s all a part of the race to the bottom EA, Activision and the other big pubs are engaged in. Expect to see it get worse before it gets better.
Did you pick up Alice: Madness Returns based on its marketing campaign? How did that make you feel? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.