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American McGee's OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled

Goobye, yellow brick road. (Not pictured: a yellow brick road)

Did you know that American McGee and his delicately spiced band of horses launched a Kickstarter for undead scarecrow steampunk opus OZombie? No? Well apparently neither did a lot of people, because its yellow brick road stopped well short of a $950,000 goal, with the developer closing the curtains on the crowdfunding drive despite weeks left on the clock.

So then, what happens now? A, erm, different Kickstarter, of course.

McGee chalked up OZombie’s untimely end to two main factors: the Kickstarter’s rather discouraging rate of progress and the looming opportunity to snag movie rights to the grim and ghoulish Alice saga. He explained:

“For Oz, we can always launch another campaign in the future. On the other hand, the Alice film rights are only within reach during a rapidly closing window of opportunity. We’ll sacrifice Oz today in order to have a real chance with Alice.”

“Securing these film rights would be nothing short of a major coup. We’d control a significant portion of Alice’s future. Being able to produce animations, feature films and related merchandise means keeping Alice’s world fresh, no matter what else might happen with the game portion of the property.”

The Alice Kickstarter is now up and running, if you’re interested. It promises – at the very least – an animated feature about Alice entering the minds of Victorian London standouts like Jules Verne, Jack the Ripper, Darwin, and Queen Victoria in an effort to defeat “a threat greater than the asylum or the man who killed her family”. The goal’s far more modest this time around, even at the still rather piggy bank pulverizing price of $200,000.

That said, McGee and co also have incredibly little to hold up their Kickstarter’s chalky, skeletal frame, with only vague promises that they’ve worked with “top-notch animation studios” near their headquarters on previous projects. All well and good, but Spicy Horse is still a game studio. Animated features are quite a different animal, so there’s no telling whether we’ll see creative compromise or an all-out tug-of-war.

The again, Spicy Horse hasn’t exactly created particularly great games in the recent past, and world-building does seem to be its strong suit. Maybe this arrangement will be better off for all involved? Personally, I still plan to steer well clear of this Kickstarter (too much recent tumult for my tastes, and Akaneiro really didn’t give me much faith in the company on any front), but what about you?

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Nathan Grayson

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