How American McGee and Spicy Horse Studio screwed up the OZombie Kickstarter
Kickstarter backers of American McGee’s OZombie project got a shock last night when they received an email announcing the cancellation of the project. It seems that McGee and Spicy Horse Studio had lost faith that the game would get its necessary funding and decided to focus on procuring the rights to Alice instead.
Let’s start with a little back story. McGee had been teasing for months that a new Kickstarter would be arriving. And it would focus on one of two things: either a sequel to Alice: Madness Returns (depending on his company receiving the licensing to do that) or a steampunk horror title called OZombie. Eventually, it was OZombie that made the cut and was put up on Kickstarter.
At first, OZombie seemed to be doing well. But then McGee did something strange. He decided to add in a stretch goal for the film rights for Alice. Why was this odd? Well, first, it told backers of the OZombie project where McGee’s own priorities lay – and it wasn’t with OZombie. Secondly, it confused backers of the project who just wanted a game about Oz. There was a bizarre new video added to the Kickstarter featuring an Alice cosplayer (the winner of this contest) that had nothing to do with the original Kickstarter project.
This was a huge mistake and fans let McGee know about it on Kickstarter. Some even pulled their funding. Let’s just say, major epic fail. If you’re promising your backers one thing, don’t confuse them by making the project about something else. The focus should have always been on OZombie.
After McGee pulled the film rights from the OZombie project, though, he decided to change the name of the game. This wasn’t a huge deal as it seemed the game’s focus wasn’t just about zombies. So he asked fans for suggestions – and then completely ignored them. The game was renamed Oz Action Adventure. That’s not a very catchy title, is it? In doing so, even more fans were turned off from the project.
After all of this, the project was outright canceled. This serves as a slap in the face of those who still wanted to see the Oz game, in spite of the realization that this was always about Alice, which now is supposedly going to be an animated series. So instead of getting a game, if we choose to fund the next Spicy Horse Studio project, we get… an animated series. Where is the logic in that?
Needless to say, many fans will probably no longer wish to support any future Kickstarter endeavors by McGee. And if OZombie turns back up at some point – as has been suggested, it’s probably doomed.