American McGee, creator of the cult hit Alice series published by EA, has announced the official end of the franchise, after several years working to secure the rights to produce a third entry, known as Alice: Asylum. For nearly a decade, McGee has worked with fans and fellow developers on a potential sequel, via a Patreon which invited creative collaboration.
The result of these efforts was a 400+ page design document charting the complete path for Alice: Asylum, including a development budget (US $50 million), schedule, and pitch outline with concept artwork, creative direction, level design, and characters detailed, down to the minutiae.
Alice Asylum had a complete vision, and a dedicated fanbase fostered over a 20-year period. Despite this, EA has reportedly rejected American McGee’s pitch, effectively ending the franchise.
‘On the question of funding, [EA has] ultimately decided to pass on the project based on an internal analysis of the IP, market conditions, and details of the production proposal,’ McGee announced via Patreon.
‘On the question of licensing, they replied that “Alice” is an important part of EA’s overall game catalog, and selling or licensing it isn’t something they’re prepared to do right now. At this point, 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. As such, we will be hibernating this Patreon page and related pre-production activities.’
‘Alice: Asylum is at an end.’
This decision has reportedly encouraged McGee to officially lay down his development tools, and exit the industry entirely.
‘For my part, I have also reached an endpoint with “Alice” and with game production in general,’ McGee announced. ‘I have no other ideas or energy left to apply toward getting a new Alice game made. Nor do I have any interest in pursuing new game ideas within the context of the current environment for game development.’
McGee has further confirmed that he has no control over the Alice IP, as it is owned solely by EA. Any decision to make a sequel or continue the series would rely on support from the company – and for now, it appears that avenue is closed.
‘It’s often said that when one door closes, another opens. Trite but true. And I hope that for all of you, this closure will bring life to other adventures and dreams,’ McGee said, to conclude the story of Alice: Asylum and the years-long journey to bring the game to life. For now, the franchise will continue to lay dormant, with the remaining Asylum design bible serving as a reminder of what could’ve been.