American McGee announces free-to-play card-based action game for iOS

American McGee, famous for his dark and gritty adaptation of the classic Alice in Wonderland story with American McGee’s Alice, has announced a new game being made by his Shanghai-based studio Spicy Horse. The game, dubbed The Gate, will be free-to-play for iOS and will involve collecting cards and making them fight. McGee described the game in an interview with Eurogamer as “Pokemon in hell”. Check out the trailer:

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“One of the first goals that we’ve had during this new phase of our life as a mobile and online developer is to try to bring the quality of the content and 3D assets and storytelling from console and PC over to mobile and online, so I think The Gate is a pretty good expression of that,” he said.  

The Gate will challenge the hordes of card-based games on iOS, a catgeory that has seen an uptick in adoption recently. “There’s been a lot of success with these [card combat games] in the mobile space recently and then [we wanted to] translate that to a 3D action game, but still hold onto the traditional CCG mechanics. It’s a pretty simple story. You’re in hell and you’re fighting against demons and as you defeat them you’re adding to your card pack and then you upgrade them.”

Pokemon in hell

McGee also explained how the game’s free-to-play business model would work. “It’s a combination of both aesthetic upgrades but also ones that you would use in combat that directly influence how you do, especially in the PvP arena. If you’re really concerned with rank and status within the game world, then you’re going to go into these arenas and you will want to purchase these card packs, and you’ll want to work to train these cards up. But I think for the more casual player the free-to-play aspect of it and the spending money doesn’t really have to come in at all.”

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