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OZombie was a planned narrative-driven action-adventure game to be created by American McGee set within an dark alternate Oz universe before it was canceled. It would have featured similar art treatment to that of Alice: Madness Returns and Akaneiro: Demon Hunters.
The Immortals of Oz would play important roles in the larger narrative theme - Ak, the Master Woodman and Bo, the Master Mariner - represent various aspects of nature and balance in Oz. When Dorothy arrives, Scarecrow has already managed to murder Kern, the Master Husbandman, god of farming. After converting most of the Land of Oz to his faction, Scarecrow now seeks to destroy the remaining Immortals. He fights to free Oz from "lazy magic" and to begin a new era where "life matters because there is death." His idea of utopia is one where creativity, passion and imagination are evil and should be repressed. Mindless repetitive activities and Luddite prejudices align with his goals. Happiness comes from conformity. Not zombies of the flesh-eating variety, OZombie seeks to speak to the individual who goes about their daily life oblivious to the socio-political forces that shape and determine the quality of life. In his search for brains, Scarecrow has turned the peoples of Oz into mindless automatons, one and all. While inspired by Baum, our Oz will be a non-conformist version, distinct from both his original, and ALL subsequent adaptations (including American’s Oz project, which Atari killed nearly a decade ago).
Honoring Baum’s sublime vision, Oz is a real place, rather than a young girl’s dream. That idea was an MGM invention.Our antagonist is Scarecrow, once king of the Emerald City, later ousted in a coup, and eventually exiled to a life of solitude, despite being described as "the wisest man in all Oz." There's a lot of frustration, misunderstanding and rage contained within his life's journey. After enduring such insults, who can blame him for wanting to retake his rightful position and establish an Oz where his intelligence and rule will never again be questioned? Our Oz is mystical, filled with magic, enchantment, and a vast collection of unique “Ozite” artifacts. Where Scarecrow holds sway, you’ll find adapted and evolved hardware imported by visitors from other lands, usually represented in a style called "steampunk," which has its own particular look and feel. Other countries still under resistance retain much of the beauty of Oz. The Land of Oz, as in the books, is divided into four diverse countries, with four distinctive populations – Munchkins are in the East, Winkies in the West; Gillikins in the North and Quadlings in the South. At the center of Oz you'll find the legendary Emerald City, the capital and home to the ruler of Oz. Beyond these native territories and the deadly deserts that surround them are many more lands to be explored.Our Oz, distant and remote, is an island set in the Pacific Ocean. Freed from the constraints and conventions of Western culture, we can explore themes of society and self-reliance in a sort of 'clean room' environment. Dorothy will arrive by boat, a refugee from a world on the brink of ecological and societal collapsed.
Game Production History
In 2013, a Kickstarter page was created for the game asking for a public funding goal of $950,000 but the project was canceled with only $141,513 pledged. The game would have been developed by Spicy Horse which is a Shanghai video game company started by American McGee and others in 2007. After being canceled, SH supposedly would work on short films along related to American McGee's Alice but it has only created one called Alice: Otherlands which contained two shorts. Without an actual game released since 2013 and the website seemingly blank, rumors claimed that the company was going out of business but American McGee stated on March 29th, 2016 that though they have had layoffs they are still in business. The company's future is unknown but he suggested that they would move on from less Free to Play browser games and develop more paid games.
It is unknown at this time if the game will be made, but a recent July 14th, 2016 post on the still existing Facebook page indicated the selling of art prints created for Ozombie and other games as it used the hashtag #Ozombie.
- If created, the game would have predated an evil version of the Scarecrow as featured in the Dorothy Must Die book series by one year.