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OZombie Shuttered as American McGee Pursues Alice Film Rights

Illustration for article titled emOZombie/em Shuttered as American McGee Pursues emAlice/em Film Rights

OZombie—American McGee's zombie take on the Oz stories—has been taken off of Kickstarter so its studio, Spicy Horse, can focus on securing the film rights to the Alice series McGee created.


The two efforts had been paired in a $950,000 Kickstarter campaign that Spicy Horse was unable to then separate into two different campaigns. "The submission has been rejected multiple times and our appeals have failed (multiple campaigns are not allowed)," McGee wrote. To launch a campaign for the Alice film rights means we must first shut down the Oz campaign."


That said, McGee admitted that OZombie's performance—about 15 percent of the $950,000 goal has been raised with 20 days to go—factored into the decision. "Projections suggest we'll hit 30 percent of our goal by campaign end," he said.

OZombie was to have been a game in which Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Lion battle a zombie horde raised by the Scarecrow.

McGee said that an OZombie campaign could always be restarted later. "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."

Earlier this month, McGee explained that Spicy Horse was in talks to acquire the rights to Alice and make a movie with them. For $100,000, they'd have the right to make animated shorts. For another $400,000, they could purchase the license outright and make a feature film. OZombie had just kicked off on June 24, so the studio hoped to pair the two, hoping one would raise awareness of the other. It gained only $23,000 in funding since the team-up was announced.


"Securing these film rights would be nothing short of a major coup," McGee said. "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."

Spicy Horse still is in talks with EA about a third game in the series, called Alice: Otherlands.


End of the Rainbow [Kickstarter]

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I've gotta ask... how did American McGee achieve the status of celeb developer? I first heard his name back with the original Alice for PC. I remember playing the demo back in the early 2k's. I liked the overall style, but didn't think much of the gameplay.

Years later, there's been a few games with his name on it, but it's just been flops, or stuff that didn't set the world on fire (like the alice remake). As far as I can tell, he doesn't have the notoriety of someone like john romero, or the underdog cult following like Tim Schafer. What is American McGee's claim to fame?