Sponsored By

EA rejection of Alice sequel marks end of American McGee’s game dev career

With his Alice: Asylum pitch rejected by Electronic Arts, game designer American McGee is leaving the game industry entirely behind.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 10, 2023

1 Min Read
Cover art for Alice: Madness Returns, featuring Alice in front of Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat.

American McGee has announced his retirement from the game industry. The game designer said that after Electronic Arts rejected his pitch for a third game in his Alice series, he's leaving both the franchise and medium behind. 

"I have no other ideas or energy left to apply toward getting a new Alice game made," McGee wrote. "Nor do I have any interest in pursuing new game ideas within the context of the current environment for game development."

EA owns the license to the Alice series, which consists of 2000's American McGee's Alice and its 2011 sequel, Alice: Madness Returns. Following the release of the latter game, he'd been trying to get a third entry (known as Alice: Asylum) off the ground for over a decade. 

Outside of the Alice series, McGee has also done design and technical support on games such as the original Doom, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, and American McGee's Grimm.  

According to McGee, the publisher passed on Alice: Asylum due to "an internal analysis of the IP, market conditions, and details of the production proposal." 

"At this point," he continued, "we have exhausted every option for getting a new Alice game made. With those answers from EA, there is no other way forward with the project."

In 2012, McGee said that he wanted the third game to take the form of an episodic title known then as Alice: Otherlands. Later in 2017 and now called Asylum, he revealed he'd made a license proposal for EA to look at, which featured a design outline and production plan he'd made in collaboration with Virtuous Games.

McGee said that going forward, he'll continue to focus on his family and Mysterious, the company he and his wife Yeni Zhang founded that releases art and apparel based on his works. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like