Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What American McGee (Really) Wants Is His Alice Back... (& Other Kickstarter Gaffs): Take II

I've umm-ed and aah-ed about posting on this story for over a month now, mainly because I have NOT been impressed with how McGee has gone about this whole thing, and it appears we don't quite have an outcome yet, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

I should make it clear I think his Alice property is (generally) interesting, unique and important (see statements in article at link - despite being over-the-top-ridiculously violent) and that his vision and games have been an important part of how Alice is viewed right now. I also think he had an interesting take on Oz too (Oz + Steampunk + Zombies = fun, although there's a little more to it than that as well)...


That doesn't make for a free pass on how you go about things...

Here's how I've seen it unfold (I've included a lovely set of screen caps from the headlines and left the dates intact so you can track the progress, or whatever you want to call it):
✒ ✒ ✒  ✒ (click the "Read more" link below this line) ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ 

1) American McGee decided he wanted the movie rights to Alice back and wants your (our) help (money) - launches Kickstarter campaign.

2) Kickstarter campaign was actually about getting OZombie off the ground - people pledged.

3) Kickstarter campaign had fine print added which mentioned some of the proceeds for OZombie may be put toward buying the rights to Alice back.

4) Pledgers got (rightly) annoyed.

5) Due to the underwhelming support (and disgruntled pledgers) OZombie Kickstarter campaign was withdrawn and the project shelved (at least for now).

6) Another Kickstarter campaign was launched for Alice: Otherlands "to fund the acquisition of the film rights and development of a series of short animated films based on the Alice property."

7) Hong Kong director, writer and producer Tsui Hark has signed on to assist with production on the Alice: Otherlands films.

8) Since the relaunch a few days ago, McGee has met almost half his asked for goal of $200,000.

And about OZombie, which people were initially quite excited about before the Kickstarter gaff, from 11am today (at time of writing, Monday 7-22-13):
Dearest OZombie fans,
American and I have not given up on Oz just yet; nor have we decided to push forward. We are simply focused on making the Otherlands film shorts succeed. If the film shorts don't succeed, the likelihood of a third Alice game diminishes so it's important that we put our full effort into this project at this time.
We ask that you be patient with us while we are on this journey. 
Come the beginning of August, we should have news, one way or the other about Oz and you here, on this forum, will be the first to know. Until then, expect the occasional update about Alice.
With love,
Ophelea and American
I detect some focus issues...

The thing is, I think McGee's visions of Alice and Oz, despite not being my taste, are something different and worth noting, if, for no other reason than that it's caught people's imagination; not just gamers, but illustrators, cosplayers, festivals, the list goes on. If any sort of film is made in the near future (especially to coincide with Alice 2 and anything else Oz "in the wind") then this is something we're going to see ripples of in fairy tale folk land.

It's a unique take on both (being that the adventures are fleshed out and playable) and a lot of people have plugged into that from the moment McGee started sketching out game plans. Many not only want another game (Alice 3 or OZombie) but would like to see how that kick-ass Alice character would look on the big screen, especially with so many disappointed in the Burton/Disney film...


(And I'm back to the beginning of the circle, so I'll just get off the bus here.)

The current Kickstarter campaign for Alice: Otherlands is HERE.

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