Shon Bury has plenty of experience when it comes to cult classics, but he was still unprepared for the response when it came to turning the movie “Evil Dead 2” into a board game.
Bury operates Space Goat Productions in Bellingham, a comic book production company.
About a year ago the company bought the rights to produce a board game based on the 1987 movie, which starred Bruce Campbell. After working with employee Taylor Smith to come up with a design and game rules, Bury decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project with a goal of $70,000.
After launching it at night, Bury woke up the next morning and discovered they had already reached that goal. By Thursday afternoon, July 28, the campaign received more than $385,000 in pledges and still had 12 days left in the campaign. It officially ends at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9.
Space Goat also produces an Evil Dead 2 comic book series, which comes out about 12 times a year. Prior to that not much was being done with the franchise, but soon after Space Goat started buying the licensing rights to the comic books and board game, it was announced that a television series called “Ash vs. Evil Dead” was in the works; it made its debut in October 2015 on the Starz network.
The television series may have helped generate interest in Space Goat’s board game, so Bury expected to hit the fundraising goal of $70,000. He didn’t expect it to happen in under eight hours, though. It taught him to never underestimate the passion for a franchise like “Evil Dead 2.”
The pledges are coming mostly from two different groups – hardcore board gamers and “Evil Dead 2” enthusiasts. About 45 percent of the pledges came through Kickstarter itself, from people searching for board games to invest in.
As the enthusiasm for this campaign has shown, Space Goat hit on two hot spots of pop culture – the undead genre and board/table games. Zombies continue to capture the imagination of the public, while the board game industry has grown substantially in recent years.
“Interest in zombies will never die,” Bury said jokingly, noting that there tends to be a resurgence when shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” become hits.
With the extra money that’s coming from Kickstarter pledges, Bury said Space Goat plans to create add-ons like new game pieces to put into the box, benefiting the backers of the project. Once the campaign is over, investors should get their games next spring. The games should then be available later in 2017 on merchgoat.com and Amazon before hitting the hobby shops and mass market stores, Bury said.
Space Goat Productions is also busy growing, Bury said. He moved the business to Bellingham seven years ago and currently has four people here while also contracting with people outside the area. Along with the “Evil Dead 2” comic book series, the company works on a variety of creative services, including helping editors meet a tight deadline. Moving forward, the company is looking into making more original comic books and games.
As the campaign winds down, they will land more local backers. One of the reasons Bury came to Bellingham was because of that attitude toward buying local.
“I know people in Bellingham care about local businesses,” he said.