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Sony picks up Ghostbusters from Atari

Wed 06 May 2009 8:30am GMT / 4:30am EDT / 1:30am PDT
Publishing

UPDATE: Game set for PlayStation exclusivity deal as uncertainty hovers over other formats

Sony Computer Entertainment will now be publishing Terminal Reality's Ghostbusters title in a surprise deal signed with Atari today, just one month before the game was set to ship, GamesIndustry.biz has learned.

The game is set for a June 19 release alongside the Sony Pictures film, but only on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 platforms, which will have a period of exclusivity lasting several months until the PlayStation Portable edition is launched.

It is unclear exactly what will happen to the Xbox 360, DS and Wii versions of the game, although GamesIndustry.biz understands that Atari may look to publish them at a later date.

This will be the third publisher within a year for the Ghostbusters game, with the former Vivendi title being dropped by Activision in the merger last summer, before subsequently being picked up by Atari.

The troubling economic climate has hit Atari hard, with investors keen to see a quick return on investment - despite the company's core business plan relying on a more long-term view of a radical shift to online publishing.

The company accelerated the sale of its distribution business earlier this year in order to appease investors, and the Ghostbusters deal with Sony - so late in the day - will look to many like another sign of trouble.

UPDATE: Atari has said that with Sony publishing the title, the game will reach a wider audience on release.

"Atari is committed to maximising the launch of the Ghostbusters videogame across Europe," offered Jim Wilson, VP of Worldwide Marketing for Atari.

"In partnership with both Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, we have a unique opportunity to add new game products and expand marketing opportunities to reach Ghostbusters fans in Europe."

A PSP version of the title is due this autumn.

Atari Inc has now clarified that the exclusive deal is for Europe and PAL regions only.

6 Comments

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Atari has said that with Sony publishing the title, the game will reach a wider audience on release.

Pardon the tone but what kind of bullshit is this? Atari, do please explain to me how making the game exclusive to Sony platforms does it reach a wider audience than the multiplatform release it was originally intended to receive?

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 6th May 2009 2:43pm

Posted:5 years ago

#1
This is why Sony's business model is flawed. If you own movie IPs, you need the flexibility to exploit these IPs on as many game formats as possible.

Not doing so not only costs you revenue, but hurts the brand - as the movies themselves suffer from the lack of co-promotion across multiple consoles (etc).

Posted:5 years ago

#2

Alex Wright-Manning Talent Officer, Playground Games

172 2 0.0
Right with you Jimmy. Sounds like Atari desperately trying to justify their failings and the Sony bailout. It's a real shame, it could have been one of the games of the year. Now the hugely reduced audience will stop it getting the exposure a title based on such a great IP deserves. Boo Atari!

Just heard that apparently the 360 version will be 'later this year', so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Although a Wii version would have been awesome. Don't cross the streams!!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Wright-Manning on 6th May 2009 4:13pm

Posted:5 years ago

#3

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
OK, I got it. It's timed exclusive only in Europe. Infogrames is based in France where former SCE World Wide Studios president Phil Harrison is now their president.

This is simply corporate politics 101.

Posted:5 years ago

#4

John Kauderer Associate Creative Director, Atari

33 5 0.2
This is article is misleading. As far as I know this distribution deal with Sony is for the EU only. Phil Elliot could you maybe put something in there to address that this does not effect the US release?

Posted:5 years ago

#5

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Phil did one better, he wrote a whole new article based on the new information.

[link url=http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/multiplatform-ghostbusters-release-for-us-in-june
]http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/mu...[/link]

I believe at the time of this articles publishing it was based on the known information as he presented it including an update provided by Atari itself.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 6th May 2009 10:51pm

Posted:5 years ago

#6

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