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American McGee cancels OZombie Kickstarter to focus on Alice animation


Alice creator American McGee has pulled the plug on his Kickstarter campaign for undead-plagued Wizard of Oz game OZombie in order to focus his efforts on producing an animated series based on his Alice universe. 

The OZombie campaign had been struggling to reach its $950,000 goal, with just $141,513 pledged in four weeks of the campaign. Cancelling the failing project means that McGee can launch a new campaign, as Kickstarter won’t allow companies to run more than one campaign at a time.

With Kickstarter space free to use, McGee will now focus on promoting his plans for animated films set in his gothic horror reimaging of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stories. These plans were originally part of the OZombie Kickstarter as a $100,000 stretch goal, but now they stand on their own they may generate more interest. The money is needed to wrestle the rights for Alice away from Collision Entertainment, who are demanding $500,000 for the rights, or $100,000 per year as license.

“Since working to remove [the film rights] from the Oz campaign we’ve been unable to launch it as a separate campaign here on Kickstarter,” McGee explained. “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.

“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. I hope you’ll join us in making this a reality.”

Whilst I’d never want to crush the dreams of any games industry artist, an animated Alice series sounds beautiful and I’d rather see that turn up over a zombie-infested Emerald City. It looks like American McGee’s got his priorities right here. The Kickstarter for the Alice animations goes live later this week.

Cheers, Eurogamer.