Crowdfunding’s latest celebrity success: Shaq

Source: YouTube - Shaq Fu: A Legend RebornSarah Chandler | CNBC | May 2, 2014 – you’re old enough to have wasted massive amounts of time playing Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis video games in the 1990s–– before Xbox and PlayStation became household names––you might have chanced upon Shaq-Fu. Widely considered to be one of the worst video games of all time, it is also the only game that can brag of a website devoted solely to the destruction of every copy.

Aside from its wildly uneven ratings, Shaq-Fu’s original 1994 release drew attention for another notable fact: The game’s creator and star was Shaquille O’Neal, at the time a new NBA sensation who would soon lead the Orlando Magic to the final game of the 1995 playoffs.

Flash-forward to 2014. Now retired from the NBA, where he ended his career as a 15-time All-Star, Shaq is back in the game industry with plans to unveil a sequel to his original, called Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.

Among the interesting facets of the relaunch is the frank sense of humor with which O’Neal now acknowledges the mediocrity of the original––the campaign for the sequel promises that “we won’t FU it up this time”––as well as the unexpected way he has chosen to raise capital.

Shaq Fu: A Legend RebornWhile crowdfunding has skyrocketed in popularity among the indie set as an innovative way to fund projects ranging from wearable technology and punk albums to food trucks plying pierogi, it has not, until recently, been the territory of Hollywood B-listers and NBA stars.

Launched the day before the kickoff of last month’s South by Southwest Festival—where O’Neal gave a talk—his Indiegogo campaign had raised about $400,000 as of May 2, and looked like it was on pace to reach its $450,000 goal by the campaign’s May 5 end date.

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