American McGee on PlayStation 4: 'Meh'

Alice designer says he enjoys how new platform is more developer-friendly, but overall thinks consoles will "struggle painfully" against mobile and online games.

Alice designer American McGee is not impressed by the PlayStation 4. Speaking to Forbes, the industry veteran said he's happy the new platform appears to be more developer-friendly, but overall has many reservations about new consoles in general.

"I was hoping for innovation in control input. Didn't see anything meaningful, so 'meh,'" McGee said of the PS4. "It's nice that they're moving towards what looks like more developer-friendly hardware and indie friendly distribution. Remains to be seen if the appearance matches reality."

"Overall, I think this generation of consoles will struggle painfully against the momentum of mobile/online games we're seeing globally," he added.

McGee also addressed the launches of Diablo III and SimCity, both of which arrived with widespread server issues. He said that ultimately gamers just "need to relax."

"Do gamers or the media think EA or Blizzard wanted things to go so badly at launch? Do they think all the screaming and gnashing of teeth actually helped resolve those issues more quickly? There's got to be a balance to the relationship," he said.

"Just because you've given a restaurant your business doesn't entitle you to throwing molten cheese fries in your waiter's face if your margarita comes out frozen instead of on the rocks," he added. "People need to relax a little and stop turning everything into World War III--Gamers vs. The Man. There are no winners in that scenario."

McGee is currently gauging interest for Alice 3 after his Kickstarter campaign for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters was successful.

Written By

Discussion

431 comments
wwefan4ever
wwefan4ever

Mobile gaming? HAHAHA!  Screw that!

art_vertex007
art_vertex007

American McGee's games.... Meh... He's a nobody. I'm more interest about what Bangie will say about the console. Maybe American McGee is giving up on making a large scale game. He's retreating into a casual game market.

blue_powder
blue_powder

I can only say 'Meh yourself, American McGee'

SEEDman_X
SEEDman_X

I saw there is a lot of truth in his words

Zadcodrin
Zadcodrin

Oh wow, saying something to reappear on the radar. Refresh my memory again, what are the blockbuster hits that you're famous for ? Oh that's right that 1 game that was out more than 10 years ago,because your last alice was a bust. So before saying "meh" make a decent game that makes people know who the hell mgee is...and i'm not talking about people who were alive during the 1st alice. So shut up you phantom company that no one cares about

1wikkid1
1wikkid1

"People need to relax a little and stop turning everything into World War III--Gamers vs. The Man." But that's exactly what it is though! The Man is trying to force his ideas onto the gamers while at the same time making said gamers pay for it. It's like paying somebody to get raped. If I'm expected to cough up $60+ on a single game then yes, it's reasonable to expect the game to function immidiately upon installation... all the dancing around in order to make current gen games playable is retarded, I should be getting paid for figuring out how to run some of these games(patches, hotfixes, ini tweaks, etc.) Gaming industry is a service industry, and as ANY other service industry it should abide by the same concepts... if your services are garbage then it's well within my rights to complain and make unhappy noise about it. This guy seems to be on sort of a power trip, like "we bring you these games, therefore you should bow down and kiss the ring, B!TCHES!" but no, the players are starting to wake up, and maybe sometime in the near future we will actually see players guide the choices that these developers are making... and that's how it should be.

EmericaCky2K
EmericaCky2K

Fuck mobile games.  I dont even own a smartphone and I'm 25.

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

Yeah but if that waiter doesn't give you your drink, or says "well we need to monitor you as you drink it" then you can ask for a refund, a different drink, or simply leave. What were people doing to EA? Wanting it fixed, they didn't fix it and instead just said "hang on tight while our DRM kicks in gear!" The waiter wouldn't be able to say "sorry, we are unable to monitor you at this time, please sit here for a few hours to days while we get our equipment sorted out......"

wyan_
wyan_

american mcgee... meh

s-s-s
s-s-s

"Just because you've given a restaurant your business doesn't entitle you to throwing molten cheese fries in your waiter's face if your margarita comes out frozen instead of on the rocks," he added. "People need to relax a little and stop turning everything into World War III--Gamers vs. The Man. There are no winners in that scenario." 

that is the most ridicules thing i've ever heard.when publishers take away from us what should essentially be ours we MUST protest.Publishers should be pleasing us not the other way around. American McGee should know this.he developed games when we used to pay 60$ instead of 100$ for a complete game.

first the ultima guy then this.since when do out-dated developers say stupid things just to get attention ?ok/,we get it,you are still relevant.will you stop trolling now ?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Euuuuurrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

That is how I feel about 'mobile' gamers in a nutshell.  The VAST majority are just casual gamers which don't actually appreciate the very essence of gaming. If the casual market results in the downfall of serious gaming then it will be a sad day indeed.

Nothing beats getting in from work, kicking your feet up, and playing some truly immersive titles on a huge screen.  With an ACTUAL controller.

Angry birds etc. are fine in short portions, but if it becomes the future of gaming as a whole then I'm out.

Melchior111
Melchior111

I miss the old days when devs spent time making games, instead of talking shit about each other (well, Tomonobu Itagaki is a exception) and the industry in general.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

The mistake which developers have made in recent years is to consider different audience using different type of platforms, the same . Specific game platform have specific audience . You can't sell Ni Nu Kuni on PC and and you can't sell Total War on consoles . Same goes for mobile gaming , those games are played by separate audience , it may be less expensive to build and give easy revenue to small developers but I don't see such platforms threat to core gaming anytime soon .

residude
residude

I have not met anyone who actually thinks mobile gaming is good. All these games on the app store are not only tedious with the terrible touchscreen controls, but you are also limited. Sure you can get the base game for free, but to get anything decent in the game you have to start forking out with these micro transactions. I have tried mobile gaming, and can quite happily say, I will never stop playing console/pc games. I guess mobile gaming is for a different audience, but that audience is not me. Roll on next gen please :)

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

This is one thing that people just aren't getting about the mobile games industry; they have a different audience!

Console & (offline) PC gamers will always want to play consoles and PC games, and those people aren't going anywhere. Sure they are outnumbered, but if console and PC games sold well in the past, they will continue to do so, because those gamers aren't getting lured away by the majestic wonders of tilting your phone from side to side to turn around.

deth420
deth420

"Just because you've given a restaurant your business doesn't entitle you to throwing molten cheese fries in your waiter's face if your margarita comes out frozen instead of on the rocks,"

No but when the waiter is constantly spitting in your food, i say go ape shit!!

Ea is the fly in the ointment...

LoganWesker
LoganWesker

there was no need for a new gen of consoles..i understand this current gen is the longest in history but when i see the  new systems..they look exactly like my current systems...there should not be a generation leap until there is a graphics leap..not seeing it.

02050muh
02050muh

hmmphh..like your games are any good. please~ don't be such an arrogant smartass. that's just sad

blitzinD
blitzinD

I think this guy and "Lord British"should go practice the rusty trombone on each other.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

I respect his opinion but do not agree. PS4 looks fantastic, and will likely get one. Also, online isn't my cuppa tea in most games. Much prefer single player in games that should be designed for a single player experience.

dovonob
dovonob

I've always hated this jumped up idiot.

Literally have no idea how he's managed to make a living out the one piece of crap game he's ever made.

Well done for working on quake and doom though.........ah although not really cause you got sacked cause you were a complete arse.

TTDog
TTDog

American McGee.... Meh!

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

his comment isn't very consistent and therefore not very logical or useful.

"will struggle painfully against the momentum of mobile/online games we're seeing globally"

Globally being the key word there. Yes globally consoles are not a growth product like mobile and online games, BUT, they never have been because it requires a large population with plenty of disposable income. Consoles have always been products for NA/Japan/Western Europe. But Eastern Europe, All of Asia outside of Japan, and South America have been very PC and mobile focused markets. 

This is the problem with talking to developers. They view everything through the lens of "how is this platform going to serve to grow my audience exponentially?" And the answer is pure gaming consoles like the PS4 and the Wii-U won't do this for you so they make comments like this which are misleading at best and useless at worst. Consoles will continue to serve the same market they always have because I believe people in those markets are looking for something new, they just don't want to play endless sequels all the time, hence the drop off in sales.

"I was hoping for innovation in control input. " - This is code for tablet gaming

"Do gamers or the media think EA or Blizzard wanted things to go so badly at launch?" 

- This is where his agenda becomes so transparent. He likes these PC/online games with DRM so he leaps to their defense despite the overwhelming failures we've seen recently while I'm about to go pickup Bioshock Infinite for my console and it will play immediately when I insert the disc in. When I'm done, I can sell it back to the store and get something else. Sorry McGee, your online setup doesn't beat that and I don't see how it ever will.

j_kizi
j_kizi

His restaurant comparison is stupid. In a restaurant you don't pay first, you pay after, so if your margarita does come frozen, you can chose not to pay or demand for a better margarita. With games we PAY first, so we do have the right to complain and be angry because that was our money spent on a product that did not meet its promise.

gMcR
gMcR

What a tool

electroban
electroban

I know what he means about control input, I hate playing first person shooters on the Xbox, that controller is gayy.  But conversely beat em ups, adventure games, thats the way forward on xbox

kingotnw
kingotnw

American needs to relax himself. Maybe if he would come down into the stratosphere and trying to live off of a game that was released 20 years ago, he would do something meaningful in current game development. As it stands, he is no better off or relevant that John Romero is.

peteyboi29
peteyboi29

"gamer's need to relax"   ??? is this guy for real ?    "yes mr mega gaming corporation i will relax as you treat me like a dickhead and rip me off left, right and center, thank you for inserting your large corporate fist in to my ass"   

this guy needs to understand  that the only "relationship"  is that of a company to customer  relationship and that if a customer is treated unfairly they "HAVE THE RIGHT"  legally to complain about it, typical corporate stooge trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes by apealing to there sense of civility. 

people like this are ruining the world.........

*rant over* 

franzito
franzito

I myself want to see how the PS4 is going to be until released because, until now, it's been meh like the guy said, no matter how fanboys or virtual-only-life gamers say it otherwise.

pseto223
pseto223

Who the hell cares abous this guy? Just another old timer, who hasn't produced anything meaningful in years. 

Faramir535
Faramir535

Why are you so mad people, he is unfortunately right, a lot of my friends are selling their consoles to get those bs iphones ipads and androids, almost everyone think they are the cool stuff right now. Games that have online modes almost always sells better. Example this is why they stuffed it an online mode in Tomb Raider 2013.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@Cloud_imperium Lots of people that use to buy consoles before mobile appear, will not buy the next generation ones (ask Nintendo about WiiU). Their entertainment device is not a console anymore, it's a tablet, a smartphone and later a smart TV.

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

@LoganWesker You should hit up the eye doctor if you look at stuff like Deep Down, Killzone, and whatever Square is doing and don't see much of a graphical difference.

gunzanaler
gunzanaler

@j_kizi Good point, easy for him to tell gamers to relax since he's on the developer end. I agree that some people get way too angry but frustration is understandable. You pay for something, you want to get what you payed for, and they didn't with D3 and Sims City.

blitzinD
blitzinD

@gMcR Gotta like this, that was the first word that popped in to my head when I read this.

blitzinD
blitzinD

@electroban Would you prefer to play a FPS with a touchscreen? Because I think that is what he wants.

ampiva
ampiva

@kingotnw He's way better off because he hasn't stopped developing (quality) games.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

@Faramir535 Anyone selling their Xbox to get an iPhone isn't into actually playing games, and they probably bought the Xbox for Kinect dance games.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Faramir535 Tomb Raider will likely be beaten in sales by the new Bioshock (no online). I could write a list of games that sell well with zero online but I'm sure you can look that up yourself ;) 

Game developers add online modes because they 'think' it will help sales, that is not always the case. As for phones it's a means on contact and portable entertainment. At home most would rather use a TV than a small screen.

zarathustrax7
zarathustrax7

@Faramir535 I agree with you. I have friends that are doing the same thing. But, I don´t think in general consoles vs mobiles is a war. I think they can survive togheter. 

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Senor_Kami Deep Down amazed me at the PS4 reveal, the graphics for that genuinely blew me away.  Capcom deserve a pat on the back.

deth420
deth420

@gunzanaler @j_kizi especially when the thing you pay for is forced to go through a system that doenst work!

j_kizi
j_kizi

@gunzanaler @j_kizi Whats even more infuriating is the fact that some people who bought SimCity couldn't even get a refund. So not only did I receive a product that doesn't function the way it promises to, I can't even get my money back! And I'm suppose to "relax"? I would like to see this guy practice what he preaches if a car dealer sells him a car thats brand new and he discovers it turns off randomly when he drives it.  

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

@blitzinD "Shoot enemies anywhere in the span of you thumb like never before! What's that? Your thumb takes up 25% of the screen because you're not a girl? Well play Angry Birds instead, unless you like never getting a headshot."