American McGee's Spicy Horse development studio is abandoning its Kickstarter for OZombie, a twisted take on L. Frank Baum's novels. The project had 2,607 backers and raised $141,513 of a $950,00 goal, with approximately three weeks to go.
"The Oz campaign has to end. There are two realities driving the decision. First, we're facing a challenge with the Alice film rights," wrote McGee on the campaign's Kickstarter page. "Second, we wouldn't consider shutting down the Oz campaign if it were trending towards success. 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 when the reality of our funding trend is combined with the pressure of the Alice film rights situation..."
What Alice film rights? Well, turns out that McGee isn't thinking about a third game for his darker take on Alice in Wonderland, but about some kind of animated short or 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." McGee continued, "Now we turn our attention to 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."
That Kickstarter is scheduled to start later this week.