The third installment of Alice is something our favorite demented childhood-ruiner has been thinking over for awhile, and it's clear he's been thinking deep. American McGee's just spilled a bunch of ideas in a Q&A on Alice: Otherlands' Facebook page, and despite not yet having a publishing deal, it seems he's already got some dark ideas brewing—such as an online integration. Oh my. How will this non-fairy-tale end?
What the heck is up with EA and Steam? First they're buddy-buddy, then EA launches Origin (at this point little more than a new coat of paint on the EA Download Store) and games start disappearing off of Steam. EA blames Steam and Valve, Valve says not a lot about anything.
Today, a couple of days after launch, Alice: Madness Returns has popped up on Steam without notice - so apparently whatever breech of agreement that resulted in the removal of Crysis 2 from Steam has not prevented EA from putting up new games. EA PR Director Amanda Taggart sent over this not-very-revealing statement:
"EA Partners and Spicy Horse Games appreciate Steam’s decision to sell Alice: Madness Returns. The game is also available on several other download services including Amazon, Gamestop and Origin.com."
My personal pet theory is that EA simply wants to own all of the pre-orders on its games, without splitting that sweet, sweet cash with Valve. I expect to see most EA games - including Battlefield 3 - pop up on Steam after launch.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has spent the past 150 years casually batting aside just about every attempt to reshape its capricious, meandering story into a logical narrative. Tim Burton gave it a crack last year with Alice in Wonderland, tossing 19-year-old Alice back into the phantasmagorical fantasies of her childhood to ditch the hoop skirts, confront the Red Queen, and transition to spirited, headstrong womanhood while name-checking Carroll’s cast along the way. The result was charmless and distasteful. So what a coup it might have been if EA had re-released American McGee’s Alice at the same time, and showed how a young PC game developer had taken a suspiciously similar approach ten years earlier—and made it work.
EA bundling American McGee’s Alice with the PC version of Alice: Madness Returns exclusively through North American EA Store
Imagine piling your family into the station wagon and taking them to see the magnificent Grand Canyon, only to find that there’s no actual canyon there anymore, just a few rocks and a small kiosk manned by an elderly gentleman reading a paperback book. You ask him where the Grand Canyon is, and he squints at you and replies, “the what?”
That’s what it’s been like for fans of American McGee’s Alice, originally released to effusive praise in 2000. We played it, we dug it, we lent it to our friends, and we never saw our discs again. But unlike other classics from the era, Alice never showed up in digital stores or GOG.com. Even used copies start at around $50 on eBay. “Why, EA?” we lamented, “why won’t you re-release this beloved PC classic?”
And EA not only heard our lamentations, but went above and beyond by including the original American McGee’s Alice with Alice: Madness Returns in a bundle called Alice: Madness Returns – The Complete Collection, available exclusively through EA Store in North America.