Fans remain bitterly divided over the upcoming all-female remake of Ghostbusters, which is already one of the most talked about and hotly debated films of 2016 despite no trailer or TV spots of official plot synopsis having been made public. Granted, any attempt to build something entirely new out of what’s widely considered one of the greatest movie comedies of all time was going to be controversial, but Ghostbusters appears to be facing one of the biggest uphill battles of any genre film in recent memory in terms of winning over skeptical fans.
But skepticism or not, Columbia Pictures is hoping this Ghostbusters can reignite the franchise as a merchandising moneymaker, and is already planning an aggressive rollout. Now, we learn that a new video game will apparently be part of the effort.
A new report reveals that a “full fledged” Ghostbusters video game is currently in development at Activision for release on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Beyond that, though, nothing else is known about the title — including whether or not it follows the original 1980s incarnation of the characters like 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game from Atari or if it’s meant to be a tie-in with the new remake, though the later would seem slightly more likely given the timing. What is confirmed is that the game will not be related to the recent Lego Dimensions tie-in, which centered on the heroes of the original film. While little has been released in terms of publicity, action figures and other merchandise are already known to be heavily in-production related to the new film.
Ghostbusters has had a storied but spotty history in the video game world. While the franchise has been adapted numerous times for PC, console and arcade platforms, most of them have been poorly received. The 2009 game was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, and some arcade collectors have held up the cartoon-based Real Ghostbusters cabinet as an underrated gem, installments like those released for the Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80s are frequently cited as some of the worst games released for their respective consoles. That leaves any new Ghostbusters game with a pretty low bar to clear, but it also means that the brand is not at all stable or “proven” in the gaming scene.
With no (apparent) connection to the original movie, the upcoming Ghostbusters would appear to be relying largely on its own inherent merits to carry it to box-office success. Despite serious hype, remakes of both Robocop and Total Recall bombed disastrously in theaters in recent years — both films having been based on onetime megahits from the same relative period as Ghostbusters. On the other hand, revivals of the Star Wars and Rocky franchises were among the most celebrated releases of 2015 — though notably both of those films opted to continue to story of their predecessor rather than starting over from scratch.
We’ll find out what form the Ghostbusters game takes and what fame ultimately awaits the new Ghostbusters themselves soon enough.