Alice: Madness Returns creator teams with mobile dev PopCap Games

Plants vs. Zombies

It won’t be much longer before Alice: Madness Returns, American McGee‘s latest twisted adventure through Wonderland, is released. Known for his unique aesthetics and sense of story, McGee has done great work on titles like the original Alice (formally, American McGee’s Alice), the episodic series of adventure games based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Scrapland and id Software’s early Doom and Quake games. One area that McGee has yet to explore is the mobile space, but that’s now going to change thanks to a new partnership with PopCap Games, the creator of time-stealing hits like Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants Vs. Zombies.

McGee’s Spicy Horse is signed up for a long-term development deal with PopCap thanks to a $3 million investment from Vickers Venture Partners, Gamasutra reports. Spicy will wrap up work on the release of Madness Returns, which is due to hit stores on June 14, and then shift focus to developing “3D free-to-play online titles,” starting with one based on an existing PopCap franchise. Plants Vs. Zombies seems the likeliest candidate for expansion into a 3D online game and a good fit for McGee.

“The sense is that while a lot of social games have built their empires on 2D, there will be a moment where the genre has to shift into 3D, and we want to start that process now,” McGee told Gamasutra. To be clear: 3D in this case refers to the virtual world, not the developing optical technology. And McGee is right; many social games don’t feature particularly complex visuals. Even the best-looking ones, like Angry Birds, stand out more their art design than for the level of computer processing power required to make it all move.

Moving forward after Alice, McGee hopes that Spicy Horse can bring out a minimum of five games over the next two years. He wouldn’t name the existing PopCap franchise currently being worked on, but he did confirm that it will initially be released in Asia, it’s multiplayer-driven and microtransactions will be a part of it. Speaking generally, he revealed that Spicy Horse will be focus mostly on developing online PC game, mobile games (for tablets, specifically) and social network games.

Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is endearing and wonderfully weird

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is as magically weird as I remembered. The super cute art style fits Koholint Island so well, and Nintendo improved multiple, critical mechanics.
Computing

Don’t call it retro. Atari’s VCS is a modern console for PC gamers

You might think the Atari VCS is another retro console like the Nintendo SNES Classic or Sega Genesis Mini. You'd be wrong. Atari's VCS is actually a modern console that runs PC hardware. Yes, it can play Atari games, but it does much more.
Gaming

Call of Duty: Mobile is the best shooter I’ve played on a smartphone

Call of Duty: Mobile attempts to put the franchise's tight gameplay in the palm of your hand. It's largely successful, thanks to precise controls and attractive graphics. The game arrives on iOS and Android later this year.
Gaming

The PlayStation Network is back up. Here’s the latest on the PSN outage

Sony's PlayStation Network is back online after going down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, annoying legions of gamers right in the middle of E3. Here's the latest on the outage
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Gaming

Niantic Labs sues hackers who help players cheat in Pokémon Go

Niantic Labs has filed a lawsuit against Global++, who is said to be behind the hacked versions of Pokémon Go and Ingress. The legal action comes as the developer is preparing to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Gaming

How Epic Games almost made the mistake of ending Fortnite

Former Epic Games production director Rod Fergusson said that he would have canceled Fortnite if he stayed with the developer. The game only started soaring in popularity when the Battle Royale mode was released a few months after launch.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

New Nintendo Switch models are already in production and coming soon

The rumored two new Nintendo Switch models have already reportedly entered production. Some of the components were moved out of China and into Southeast Asia, as Nintendo looks to limit the impact of proposed tariffs.
Gaming

Square Enix has no clue how many episodes Final Fantasy VII Remake will take

The initial release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020 will feature the part of the adventure that takes place in Midgar. Square Enix has no idea on how many episodes it will take to tell the full story of the original RPG.
Gaming

Nintendo 3DS nowhere to be seen at E3 2019, but apparently not yet dead

The Nintendo 3DS was missing at E3 2019, but it appears that support for the console will continue. No first-party games are planned for the device, but it offers a collection of titles that may still attract both old and new players.