For a comedy that's 23 years old, Ghostbusters is sure getting a lot of attention. The newfound interest came courtesy of several clips that surfaced on YouTube in January which appeared to show an impressive-looking game based on the comedy classic. Later that same week, Slovenian developer ZootFly admitted it had a prototype Ghostbusters game running on an Xbox 360 but warned that development "had hit a snag" in terms of the IP.
"We hoped the publisher would sort out the IP issue in a jiffy and we'd be recharging proton packs in no time," ZootFly CEO Bostjan Troha told GameSpot. "Unfortunately, they didn't push to untangle the IP hard enough and the whole thing stalled a bit." Though Troha wouldn't name the IP holder, some speculated that Sony, which owns the Ghostbusters film rights, might scuttle development of the game rather than see it go to the 360.
Today, new information on the Ghostbusters project surfaced--courtesy of a member of the Ghostbusters cast. Touring in his native Canada as one half of the Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd revealed to the Edmonton Sun that he will be appearing in the game. He also revealed who holds the game rights to the film.
"Universal [Studios] purchased the rights from Sony for a game," Aykroyd told the Sun. "I'm actually going to have to perform and do some motion capture for them. That will be next year."
If correct, Aykroyd's comments have two implications: First, a Ghostbusters game won't appear until 2008--at the earliest. It also appears to debunk the Sony-as-spoiler rumor, although the blank YouTube pages that bore the game footage now read, "This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Sony Pictures Entertainment because its content was used without permission."
One question the Aykroyd interview didn't answer was which company is publishing Ghostbusters. Given French media company Vivendi SA still has a major stake in its former subsidiary Universal, which is now part of NBC Universal, some assumed Vivendi Games would be distributing Ghostbusters.
However, a VG spokesman said his company has announced no such deal. "I can't comment," he told GameSpot. "This is a rumor, and we do not comment on rumors."