American McGee has carved an unusual path through the video game industry over the past two decades, a career that’s taken him from the insular and crazy successful early days of id Software, to seeking new fortunes in the ever-growing Chinese gaming market. While McGee followed the older gaming tradition of branding games through their designers, slapping his name in the title of his games, he’s never managed to break fully into the mainstream. Yet for all the failures like Bad Day L.A., McGee’s goth take on Lewis Carroll, American McGee’ Alice has held onto a devoted group of fans. The designer is now looking to those fans to make the Alice series into a trilogy.
McGee took to Facebook on Wednesday to drum up interest in Alice 3, hinting that he plans to crowd-fun the game provided he can win back to the rights to his series. “Questions for you: 1) If we could get the rights from EA, would you play Alice 3?” asked McGee, “2) If you’d play Alice 3 would you back it on Kickstarter?”
“If you said yes to those two things, make some noise—I’m trying to gauge interest in case I happen to discuss this with EA during GDC in two weeks. The more interest there is, the more seriously they’ll take the conversation.”
A large number of developer’s have had great success funding sequels and spiritual successors to games from around the same era that the original American McGee’s Alice came out. Dreamfall Chapters, a sequel to The Longest Journey which came out within months of Alice back in 2000, raised $2.5 million during its Kickstarter campaign.
The 2011 sequel to Alice, Alice: Madness Returns, wasn’t a big enough success to merit a third entry according to EA. McGee believes this wasn’t due to the game’s quality, but mismanagement on EA’s marketing department.
Alice 3 has been in McGee’s mind all along, though. Tentatively titled Alice in Otherland, McGee has discussed the game on and off since July 2012, hinting that the game would be delivered episodically and follow Alice as she enters the minds of various characters she meets rather than just returning to Wonderland.