“[…] we have exhausted all options to create a new Alice game,” says American McGee. The designer and his team have reached this point after completing and submitting to Electronic Arts a design bible and production plan (in collaboration with Virtuos Games) outlining the schedule, budget, team, and project. design to move forward Alice: Asylum. The publisher studied the proposal for weeks and provided an answer for funding the project or licensing the intellectual property.
“Regarding financing, they have decided to reject the project based on an internal analysis of the intellectual property, market conditions and the details of the production proposal,” says American McGee. “Regarding the licensing, they responded that Alice is an important part of the Electronic Arts game catalog, and selling or licensing is not something they are willing to do at this time.” At this point, McGee says there are no other options. “With the responses from Electronic Arts, there is no other way to move forward with the project.”
Alice’s Bible: Asylum is a 200+ page pdf that is free to download here.
In the design bible it is detailed that the creative direction of Alice: Asylum would be carried out by Mysterious Studios, the American McGee team, while Virtuos Games could do the technical part. The budget to complete the game is about 50 million dollars. This figure does not include the campaign marketingadditional licenses or distribution.
For American McGee, putting an end to Alice: Asylum means saying goodbye forever to the franchise and game production in general, at least in the current context. Even if someone in the future convinced Electronic Arts to do Alice: Asylum, McGee assures that he would not be involved in the project. “[…] I have no desire to be involved in this or any other project related to Alice”, says the designer. McGree ends his message by thanking his Patreon backers for supporting him all this time even though he knew the adventure could go nowhere.
American McGee began working on Alice: Asylum in 2017 to submit a proposal to Electronic Arts. In 2018, the company contacted McGee to discuss creating materials for a potential Alice 3 concept. McGee’s team was barred from starting with a game engine and from there came the idea of creating a design bible (which we recommend taking a look at)