Video Game Review - Ghostbusters: The Video Game
A former student of Spartanburg Technical College and overall geek, I enjoy listening to music, reading books, playing video games, and watching movies. Sometimes I write about them.View all articles by Adrian Tallent
First some history: With the children of the 80’s now adults and in command of the largest segment of consumer spending, it seems only natural that the 80’s wave of nostalgia would hit as it did. During the better times of the decade, actor and original Ghostbusters screenwriter Dan Aykroyd began bandying about the idea of a third Ghostbusters film. According to reports going around at the time, the idea was met positively by everyone on the original team except for actor Bill Murray, who stated he wasn’t interested in doing another film in that franchise. Not to be discouraged, Dan, taking notice of Murray’s recent successes with voice acting, asked if he’d at least lend his voice to a video game. Bill agreed.
With everything in place and positive fan reactions from the announcements, Dan and fellow Ghostbusters screenwriter (and actor) Harold Ramis wrote the plot for Ghostbusters 3 and approached Sony with the idea. It was decided that the third movie in the franchise would be released not as a film, but as a video game, and Sony planned to lead the pack by developing it for their PS3. Development of the game was licensed out to Activision, who began making it as much like a new film as possible, going as far as licensing a car company to design a more modern Ecto One. Just as the game was nearing completion, the Great Recession hit, and it impacted the gaming industry rather hard. Many of the smaller development companies were forced to fold. When Activision had a chance to merge with Blizzard, seen as a market leader due to the success of its “World of Warcraft” franchise, it took it, but in the process could afford to release only five games, and Ghostbusters 3 wasn’t one of them. After lots of waffling as to whether or not it officially was dead by Activision and Sony, the game was announced as cancelled by gaming magazines and industry insiders.
Enter Atari, who stepped in a year or so later to buy the franchises. This move was unbelievable, because, as far as I know, no other game developer had ever purchased a cancelled game from another with the purpose of completing it. They received the nearly finished game, but problems arose immediately. All the licensing would have cost them a fortune. They could not, unfortunately, release it as Ghostbusters 3. So Dan and Harold went back and wrote a new plot and script just for the video game. Atari then finished both Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Brutal Legend and released them to an enormously grateful audience.