The Long Journey of Alice: Asylum Comes to a Close

The dream of a third installment in the Alice series is officially dead, as developer American McGee announced that Electronic Arts (EA) has refused to fund or license Alice: Asylum due to internal analysis of the IP and market conditions. McGee had previously opened a Patreon to support the creation of a production and design plan, but with EA’s decision, he has ended efforts to make a new game and stated that he has no interest in game development in the current environment.

The Background of Alice: Asylum

The development of Alice: Asylum has been a long and rocky road. McGee had previously spearheaded both American McGee’s Alice and Alice Madness Returns, both of which were well-received by both gamers and critics alike. Despite this success, the third game faced serious obstacles throughout its development.

The development of Alice: Asylum began in 2010, when McGee announced that he was planning a prequel to American McGee’s Alice. Although the production of the game was announced, it took several more years for the project to take shape. In 2017, McGee opened a Patreon to support the creation of a production and design plan, with the acknowledgement that the game would depend entirely on EA’s willingness to greenlight the project.

Finally, in 2019, the design bible for Alice: Asylum was completed, which included concept art, core game design concepts, and narrative goals. However, EA ultimately made the decision not to fund or license the game.

EA’s Refusal

When EA decided not to fund or license Alice: Asylum, McGee stated that it was due to “internal analysis of the IP, market conditions, and details of the production proposal”. According to McGee, EA did not want to license the IP because “‘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.”

McGee believes that EA’s decision is final, and that there is no other way forward with the project. In response, he will be closing the Alice: Asylum Patreon page and will no longer try to raise funds for the game. The team has exhausted every option to realize a third Alice game, and McGee has stated that he has reached an endpoint with both Alice and game production in general.

McGee’s Farewell to Alice

McGee stated that he has no other ideas or energy left to apply toward getting a new Alice game made, nor any interest in pursuing new game ideas within the current environment for game development. However, he did say that “if someone does manage to convince EA to make ‘Asylum,’ I would like to make clear that, from this point forward, I have no desire to be involved with that or any other Alice-related development.”

McGee closed the Alice: Asylum Patreon note by thanking backers for their years of support. “We knew going into this adventure that failure was a possibility. But we wanted to believe impossible things–and we had fun doing that up to the moment when reality forced itself into our Wonderland,” McGee said. “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.”


Fans of the Alice series will undoubtedly be disappointed by the news that EA has refused to fund or license Alice: Asylum. However, McGee’s decision to close the door on the series is understandable, given the many obstacles that have stood in the way of bringing a third game to fruition. McGee’s farewell to Alice is a poignant reminder that even the most passionate and dedicated of creators must ultimately move on to new adventures and dreams.


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