[IMGW]http://media.1up.com/media?id=3161076[/IMGW]So, this whole Slamdance thing is blowin' up, apparently. A few days ago we reported on how a decision had been made at the official level to yank the Super Columbine Massacre RPG from the finalists' list at the Slamdance Film Festival. The rationale given in the official statement was the festival had been taking some heat from its financial backers, who sat uneasy with the game's content.
As it turns out, not everybody on that 'financial backers' list may have been consulted on the affair. The University of Southern California has just announced (by way of a statement on their Multimedia Division's blog) that they will be withdrawing their sponsorship, as well as their game entries, from Slamdance. This means a no-show from FLOW -- another game from USC for consideration in the finalists list.
On her blog, Tracey Fullerton, head of the USC Multimedia Division, says: "In light of the recent decision by the festival organizer Peter Baxter to pull Super Columbine Massacre RPG from the line-up of finalists, we no longer feel that the contest represents the best interests of independent game makers; rather, the decision undermines the credibility of the festival as a venue for independent games and invalidates the reasons that USC Interactive Media had been proud to sponsor this year's student prize."
Fullerton then goes on to explain that USC was not actually consulted about Super Columbine's removal, and, in fact, actively campaigned for its reinstatement once the news of its deletion broke. Slamdance has already released a statement on their website saying that they will not be reconsidering the Super Columbine RPG for placement.
As it stands, the finalists' running could be a very small lineup, indeed. Several developers besides USC have also withdrawn their games in protest. First was Jonathan Blow, who made the decision to withdraw Braid, next came Jonathan Mark of Everyday Shooter and the Toblo development team. The most recent abdication is Waking Games, who have just recently announced that Once Upon a Time will be officially withdrawn from gold medal contention.
Those interested in keeping up to date on who's in and who's out of Slamdance might want to keep refreshing the water cooler games forum, but it's starting to look a bit empty on the Slamdance stage. At least Castle Crashers is still in the running -- for now.