In an update yesterday, Spicy Horse boss American McGee announced the end of Kickstarter drive for the developer's Oz Action Adventure game, formerly known as OZombie. According to McGee, shutting down the campaign came down to two factors. First, the studio needs to run a drive to recover the Alice movie rights. He explained that Kickstarter does not allow multiple campaigns, and the film rights are much more important and time-sensitive.
"We’re facing a challenge with the Alice film rights," wrote McGee is his update. "Since working to remove it 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."
McGee first mentioned obtaining the film rights in another Kickstarter update on July 2. At the time, the estimate for that drive was $100,000, but later the number grew to minimum of $200,000. The film rights are owned by Collision Entertainment, one of the production studios behind the awful Max Payne film.
"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," he added. "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 second factor was that the OZombie Kickstarter wasn't exactly knocking over records left and right. It began its funding drive on June 24, but had only reached $141,513 out of its $950,000 goal.
"We wouldn't consider shutting down the Oz campaign if it were trending towards success," wrote McGee. "As it is, we've reached 15 percent of our goal with 20 days left in the campaign. Projections suggest we’ll hit 30 percent of our goal by campaign end. I've been telling myself to remain optimistic and see this thing through – but the reality of our funding trend is combined with the pressure of the Alice film rights situation."
Spicy Horse is preparing the Kickstarter for the Alice: Otherlands film rights, with more information being available on the Facebook page for the project. American McGee and his team have already launched a video for the upcoming funding drive.