“OZombie’s project will end on Monday 05 August 2013 and needs a whopping $950,000 to succeed. But something would have to go seriously wrong for McGee not to get the money.” Ooops… that’s a quote from my last article about American McGee’s latest – or should I say, former – Kickstarter project.
As you may have heard, American McGee has decided to pull the plug on his OZombie Kickstarter campaign to focus on getting the film rights for his Alice in Wonderland series. The project was designed to tell the story of Dorothy and other Wizard of Oz favourites the Tin Woodsman and Lion, who go on a quest to stop the evil King Scarecrow and his legion of zombie followers. Ozombie was basically to be an updated twisted version of L Frank Baum’s Oz franchise but in an action-adventure format.
The whole project started off great, with a slick and entertaining video that featured McGee’s other favourite children’s character: Alice, from his critically acclaimed title Alice: Madness Returns. The trailer also featured a mystery with a little silver box that would only be unlocked when the last stretch goal was achieved.
But things turned sour for the developer after he added a stretch goal to raise money for the Alice film rights. Kickstarter didn’t allow this and within days the stretch goal got taken down; despite much begging and pleading with the site, McGee wasn’t allowed to launch a separate campaign. At the same time not a lot of support was being shown for OZombie with only $141,513 of the £950,000 target being raised at time of writing – and couple that with a name change to Oz Action Adventure, a lot of people must have been confused. This last amendment was actually a relief for me as every time I tried to Google the game, I got links to a terrible looking movie called Osombie which told the story of what Osama Bin Laden would be like if he was undead (weird).
McGee stated in a cancellation post on Kickstarter: “Since working to remove [the Alice film rights stretch goal] from the Oz campaign we’ve been unable to launch it as a separate campaign here on Kickstarter – the submission has been rejected multiple times and our appeals have failed (multiple campaigns are not allowed). To launch a campaign for the Alice films rights means we must first shut down the Oz campaign.” He then added: “We wouldn’t consider shutting down the Oz campaign if it were trending towards success. As it is, we’ve reached 15% of our goal with 20 days left in the campaign. Projections suggest we’ll hit 30% of our goal by campaign end.”
This may not be the end for the Oz project however as McGee has also stated that ‘we can always launch another campaign in the future’. But has peoples’ confidence in the developer gone or can he one day claw back the support he once had and make his OZombie concept a reality? I really hope the latter is the case, because what we’ve seen of it so far looks like something that could have shaped up to have been a classic.