|Birth name||American James McGee|
|Born||December 13, 1972|
In 1994, McGee began his career in level design, music production, sound effects development, and programming at id Software, working on such games as the Doom and Quake series. In 1998, he moved to Electronic Arts, where he worked as creative director on several projects, including American McGee's Alice. After finishing Alice, McGee left EA to found his first company, The Mauretania Import Export Company.
Partnering with Enlight Software, McGee released the games Scrapland in 2004 and Bad Day L.A. in 2006. The planned American McGee's Oz, which was to be produced in conjunction with Ronin Games, was canceled over financial difficulties at Atari.
In 2007, McGee founded his second game development studio, Spicy Horse and the company released their first title, the American McGee's Grimm series, that same year for the online service GameTap, which ran from July 2007 to April 2008.
At the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello announced that a sequel to Alice was in development for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by Spicy Horse. In July 2010, at the EA Showcase in San Francisco, Spicy Horse and EA announced that sequel's title, Alice: Madness Returns.
On December 17, 2010, The Mauretania Import Export Company dissolved and all intellectual property was transferred to Spicy Horse. After less than one year after its announcement, Alice: Madness Returns was released on June 14, 2011.
Spicy Horse expanded to include another brand, Spicy Pony, to produce digital mobile media games for the iPhone platform. Their first title, DexIQ, was released in early December 2009 and was soon followed by Crooked House in March 2010 (both had iPad versions released in June 2010). Their third iPad title, Akaneiro was released on December 23, 2010.
In June, 3012, American announced that he would be creating a Kickstarter campaign for his latest fairytale title: OZombies.
Personal life Edit
McGee has stated his mission is "to create a unified production method for story telling across the interactive and film industries" and of himself, he says, "I want to be the next Walt Disney, only a little more wicked."
Upon inquiry about his unusual name: "Yes, my mother named me that. She claims a woman she knew in college, who named her daughter 'America', inspired the name. She also tells me that she was thinking of naming me 'Obnard'. She was and always has been a very eccentric and creative person."
In 2005, McGee left the United States and resided first in the city of Hong Kong, then on Lamma Island, and currently settling in Shanghai. Once in China, he created Spicy Horse, now the largest independent game development house in the nation, and helped found Blade (formerly Vykarian), a game outsourcing company. They produced American McGee's Grimm for GameTap (now owned by Metaboli) and worked on the sequel to his original Alice game, Alice: Madness Returns.
He also mentions that his inspiration for the macabre tone of Alice comes from his disturbing, dysfunctional childhood. For instance, on McGee's 13th birthday, his father, whom he had just met for the first time, was "stinking drunk" and assaulted the young McGee by attempting to gouge his eyes out with the intent of either killing or molesting him. McGee escaped this event by suggesting they "take both of their cars" to a bar and get drunk. Luckily, the father agreed. Shortly afterwards his father was involved in a car accident. "They got no more than 100 feet away when American's dad crashed into a telephone pole.
Alice credits Edit
Project leader, co-writer, designer Edit
- American McGee's Alice
- Alice: Madness Returns
Other credits Edit
Video games Edit
- Wolfenstein 3D
- Doom II: Hell on Earth
- The Ultimate Doom
- Hexen: Beyond Heretic
- Final Doom
- Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon
- Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity
- Quake II
- Doom 64
- Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3
- American McGee Presents: Scrapland
- American McGee Presents: Bad Day L.A.
- American McGee's Grimm
- Akaneiro: Demon Hunters
McGee has written a script for his interpretation of L. Frank Baum's Oz for Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney.
The film rights to Alice were sold to Miramax and Dimension in 2004, before being passed onto 20th Century Fox and then to Universal Pictures the following year. McGee maintains credit as creator and producer of the film project. There has been no particular evidence of a movie being produced anytime soon.
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- "I don't own "Alice," EA does. Up to them whether another gets made."
- "Sadly, I don't control the Alice franchise. I created it while working as an employee for Electronic Arts."
- (regarding another Alice sequel) "I do have plans but I don't have control. If I made another Alice today it would complete Alice's hero-journey arc and see her realize the full potential of physical mastery combined with psychological mastery."
- "Someone once sent me a porno clip (I swear!) where the actress had tattooed the Cheshire Cat's face/mouth around her ... naughty bits. It was awful. After that, I never wanted to see another Alice-inspired tattoo. Or naughty bits."
- "I would NOT change anything in my past, btw. Some really bad things had to happen for me to get where I am today - but I recognize the value, even in those awful moments; things happen in a certain order and if we could change that order we'd not end up in the same place. I like where I am today."
- American never finished high school.
- American is both proud and embarrassed to have his name in the first game's title. Embarrassed because so many other people besides him contributed to American McGee's Alice, yet proud because he feels it's wonderful having his name attached to the project.
- American believes that if Lewis Carroll ever saw the Alice series, he would "probably freak and run out of the room." Then when someone explained to him that computers "weren't the work of Satan... imagine he might be pleased."
- American says Electronic Arts "carefully apply proven marketing techniques to achieve the desired customer response."
- American doesn't want his responses, or lack of responses, interpreted as being "arrogant," "deceptive," or "ignorant."
- American appreciates the positive feedback on the Alice series, though wishes Alice fans were more enthusiastic about his other projects.
- A common inside joke on the AmericanMcGee.com forums is that when people annoy him or do not read his rules on the "Ask American" section of the forum, he will send them to the "DRC" (or "Dolphin Rape Cave"). He simply sees it as more of his dark imagination.
- American McGee has stated that if you say his name three times, he will appear.