American McGee’s 2011 classic, Alice: Madness Returns, has been pulled from sale on Steam again, just months after returning to service after a long absence. The action-adventure game was unavailable for several years after issues with EA’s DRM caused the game to be removed from sale on the Steam store, following its move to EA’s Origin Market. It wasn’t until February 2022 that it finally returned – with the annoying DRM removed – and now it’s gone again.
Alice: Madness Returns is a delightfully dark and cartoonish take on the Alice in Wonderland lore, with a story that splits its time between the grimy streets of Victorian London and the colorful fantasies of Wonderland. Now the title – the brainchild of former Doom and Quake developer American McGee – has been removed from sale on Steam, with a message stating that it was done at the request of the publisher.
McGee himself took to Twitter, saying he believes the title was mistakenly removed when another of developer Spicy Horse’s games was pulled from sale. Akaneiro: Demon Hunters was supposed to be pulled from sale because “it was broken,” says McGee, but all the other Spicy Horse titles were pulled by accident at the same time.
The game, which has a “very positive” rating on Steam, has encountered problems on several occasions – apart from its long hiatus from Steam, McGee himself was the victim of a copyright claim during the broadcast of the game on YouTube. I recently played it after it was announced to be back on the Steam store and had a great time, enjoying its whimsical, dark fairy tale ways and surprisingly solid combat (albeit with an admittedly clunky camera ).
So it would be a shame if the fantasy game didn’t return to the store – although McGee has contacted Valve support to try and fix the issue, so it seems likely that it will be available again soon. Whether we’ll ever see the third game in the series, Alice: Asylum, is a more uncertain prospect, however.