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Night Trap Kickstarter slams Nintendo; applies for Nintendo license

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The Night Trap Kickstarter soap opera took another twist yesterday, with organizer Tom Zito lashing out at Nintendo in a lengthy update, while pledging to apply to that same company for a Wii U release of the game, as a potential stretch goal.

Zito's blog post (which includes a host of surprising anecdotes from gaming's past) recounts his animosity towards Nintendo due to an episode 20 years ago, when the original Night Trap, a schlocky horror game, was the subject of media and federal scrutiny into the game industry. He wrote that Nintendo's then management had thrown Zito and his team under the bus by creating a reel of Night Trap, which was then on the Sega CD, and presenting the footage to a U.S Senate hearing. Night Trap was subsequently withdrawn from sale.

"Through its lobbyists in Washington, Nintendo delivered that edit to members of the committee's staff, and Night Trap instantly became the lightning rod and poster child for video game violence. The witch hunt was on," he wrote.

Zito launched a Kickstarter last week for a new version of Night Trap, which was one of the most controversial games of its era, using Full Motion Video to depict a slumber party under attack from voracious vampires.

The campaign has already been the subject of social media skepticism, with some commentators questioning its underlying business strategy. In a Kotaku interview earlier this week, Zito appeared to be defensive about a few of the backer rewards, some of which the report described as "insulting" and "bizarre."

In his blog post, Zito said he was particularly furious with Nintendo because, he claimed, the company had previously been looking at Night Trap as a potential release on an unreleased CD-based console. "The worst part was the betrayal: our friend and partner Nintendo," he wrote, "which only two years earlier had been ready to publish the game themselves, now hypocritically pointed a finger at us, to dodge a bullet they knew would hit either them or, better, us. And we had handed them the gun they used to shoot us!"

night trap

But Zito is evidently not one to let a grudge get in the way of business. Although he had previously indicated that a proposed remake of Night Trap be released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but not on any Nintendo platforms, he's now ready to reconsider.

"As some of you have pointed out, this was twenty years ago. Nintendo is a very different company run by very different people," he wrote. " If you want Night Trap on WiiU, we'll endeavor to give it to you...To that end, today we applied to become Wii U developers and publishers."

Zito says he will announce a "$20,000 stretch goal, and offer $20 downloads via the Nintendo eShop" if the Kickstarter campaign nears its overall target of $330,000.

"We obviously have no idea whether Nintendo will approve the title for its platform," he said, adding that "this might in fact be a nice way to end twenty years of animosity between two entities who once worked very well together, and we thank all of you for inspiring this soul searching."

Night Trap has so far raised $21,000 of its $330,000 goal.