American McGee, of id Software and Alice fame, has accused EA of trying to deceive consumers about Alice: Madness Returns with a deceitful publicity campaign.
McGee went in swinging during a recent Reddit AMA [via GamesIndustry], blaming EA for mishandling Alice: Madness Returns' publicity and driving away potential customers.
"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)," he wrote. “That resulted in trailers that were much darker and gorier than the game … and that was a calculated disconnect created by EA”, he continued.
“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 part of the race.”
EA's marketing campaigns and stunts have drawn fire from gamers and pundits for years, not limited to organising fake protests against Dante's Inferno, false promises about Medal Of Honor: Warfighter's length and aiming Dead Space 2 adverts at minors. By the looks of their woefully awful new trailer for Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, the trend seems set to continue.