|“||You can be sure that this premium box of Deadite-slaying goodness is in good hands.||”|
— Space Goat Publishing (from the "Who We Are" paragraph featured on the Kickstarter page)
Evil Dead 2: The Official Board Game was a Kickstarter project launched by Space Goat Productions on July 6th, 2016. It was to be the third board game based on the Evil Dead franchise, with the previous one being the Army of Darkness Roleplaying Game released by Eden Studios in 2005. While an estimated release date of November 2016 was announced as part of the project's launch, the product was officially cancled in May of 2018.
Overview of The Kickstarter
Total Funds Raised
The project launched on July 6th of 2016 with a goal of around $70,000 US dollars. When it closed on August 9th, 2016 (34 days after launching), the project had reached $722,622 thanks to 6,143 backers, and unlocked over 20 stretch goals.
After certain amounts of money had been donated to the project, it would "unlock" more items to be added to both the standard and deluxe editions of the game, including (but not limited to):
- A set of single player rules added to both versions.
- More figures, tokens, maps, and "events" added (mostly exclusive to the deluxe edition). One example of these add-ons was the "Revenge of Hitler" pack (based off the Evil Dead 2 comic of the same name), which added a Deadite Hitler figurine and several event cards loosely following the story featured in the comic.
Besides helping unlock the stretch goals, backers who donated certain amounts of money received special "rewards" depending on how much they donated. Some of the donation rewards note include:
- At $5, backers would receive a digital copy of Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead By Dawn #1 and access to the "backer exclusive" updates.
- At $60, backers would get a "standard" copy of the game.
- From $70 and up, backers would receive the "deluxe" edition of the game.
- Backers who donated $175 or more would receive a special pair of wooden dice made from the boards of the "on location" Cabin featured in the Evil Dead 2 film, courtesy of the team behind the Evil Dead Workshed project.
- One "limited to 30" reward was for $245 and up tier, which would give backers the "Evil Ed" edition of the game. This version included new box art featuring the Deadite Ed Getley and one of only 30 exclusive "Evil Ed" player cards autographed by Richard Domeier.
- Donating $500 or $1,000 allowed the backer's likeness to appear on the cover of one of Space Goat's upcoming line of Evil Dead 2 comics for 2017. This reward appears to be the only one Space Goat has followed through on as of August of 2018, with several backers appearing on the covers for Revenge of Evil Ed #1 and #2, which were the only Evil Dead 2 comics published in 2017.
As part of the Kickstarter launch, Space Goat released a video detailing how the gameplay worked.
With the November 2016 deadline approaching and the game still "in development", a question in the "FAQ" section of the Kickstarter was updated in August of 2016. The question was "Are you sure you'll be shipping in November?" The updated response implied that as of August of 2016, they were now aiming towards a Spring 2017 release. Spring 2017 arrived, and the project was moved back to December of 2017. When December 2017 had arrived, it was moved to February, then March of 2018. By March of 2018, estimated release dates were no longer given.
On November 15th, 2016 (around the original estimated release date of the Evil Dead 2 game), Space Goat announced another board game Kickstarter project, this time based on the first film of James Cameron's Terminator franchise. One theory for the delays in the production was that Space Goat had used some of the money raised for the Evil Dead 2 game to acquire the board game and comic rights to The Terminator, but when the Terminator game was briefly mentioned in an update for the Evil Dead 2 game, Space Goat stated that production of The Terminator: The Official Board Game would not affect the production of Evil Dead 2 since Evil Dead 2 was in its final stages. Another theory implied that production was delayed due to Keith Champagne becoming the new Editor-In-Chief of Space Goat, and Michael Murphey becoming the new Lead Game Designer in February of 2018.
In May of 2018, Space Goat launched a crowdfunding page on Wefunder, a website similar to Kickstarter that backers can donated money to startup companies and investors online. Space Goat was asking for one million dollars, but only raised $250,000.
Cancellation & Aftermath
|“|| Dear Backers -
With the apparent failure of the equity crowdfunding campaign, we have taken a step back to regroup and consider a number of options. Some paths forward have been presented to us. We need a few weeks to find the best path forward. As soon as we find that best path forward, you all will be the first to know.
— Shon Bury (from "A Quick Update", May 24th, 2018)
Reaction From Bruce Campbell
On May 29th, 2018, Bruce responded to an upset backer of the Evil Dead 2 board game on his official Twitter account.
|“||That’s a 100% bummer for sure. But buyer beware: if the original cast, writers, producers, or studio are not involved by name, the chances of it being bogus increases exponentially. It gets trickier with sub-licensing. A bogus company can get a legit sub-licensing deal.||”|
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce)
Dynamite Entertainment Responds
On May 30th, 2018, Dynamite Entertainment (a comic book publishing company that has been producing comics based on Army of Darkness since 2004) announced a partnership between them and Lynnvander Studios to make Army of Darkness: The Board Game. Unlike Space Goat Productions, Dynamite already had experience with creating Kickstarter-funded board games, with one based on H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator, and another based on Red Sonja. Though there was no release date given, a prototype of the box art was released.