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American McGee plans to rename OZombie, remove Alice film rights from game's Kickstarter

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

OZombie developer American McGee, responding to sentiments from fans and Kickstarter backers, plans to rename the game and remove the Alice film rights from its funding campaign, he said today in a Kickstarter update.

According to McGee, the plan he presented to backers today is just that: a plan. He's asking for feedback on the points of the plan, which may change.

McGee said the game's title, which he pronounces "Oz-zombie," is "causing too much confusion," so its development team at Shanghai-based Spicy Horse is coming up with its own alternate names. He's also soliciting suggestions from backers, although he pointed out that "American McGee's Oz" is owned by Atari and other entities.

Spicy Horse announced last week that it had entered into an arrangement with Collision Entertainment, which holds the film rights for Electronic Arts' Alice video game franchise, to acquire the rights. The deal is worth $500,000, and Spicy Horse can pay the first $100,000 of that cost in order to secure the option for the rights; that would allow the studio to make animated shorts. Once the full $500,000 is paid, Spicy Horse would own the feature film rights as well.

The studio added the option payment as the third stretch goal for OZombie's $950,000 Kickstarter funding drive, which, as of this writing, is approximately 14 percent funded at just under $135,000, with 28 days left. But McGee said today that Spicy Horse will remove the backing tiers associated with the potential Alice: Otherlands digital film, and will retract the $1.05 million stretch goal from the campaign once that's done.

Spicy Horse may, in the future, "explore launching a separate campaign on either Kickstarter or Indiegogo," said McGee.

For more on OZombie, check out our interview with McGee.