Gamasutra's running an interview with game designer American McGee. The man's name is a marketing tool in its own right. McGee recognizes it saying, "Certainly it helps in branding the games. With today's game market, building proper awareness is as important as building a good game."
So, what does he think his name means to gamers?
"I've seen positive and negative responses. For the 'fans,' I think they have come to expect something a little different from the mainstream. That's my hope anyway. For the detractors, I get the sense they feel I haven't earned the name-above-the-title right. In either case, it does seem that it brings some awareness, and all PR, good or bad, is a good thing."
When Alice came out, many moons ago, we had only known American McGee as a level designer for Doom II and Quake, and let's be honest, he hasn't done much for gamers since. Yes, American McGee Presents Bad Day L.A. ships this month, but two games in how many years? Will Wright seems to get more done on his coffee break and he doesn't slap his name on the top of every game. Can you imagine a title like David Jaffe Presents God of War 2?
When is it appropriate to slap the developer's name on the title of a game? How many game developers are at the level where it matters to the consumer?