×

Vivendi, Sony call ‘Ghostbusters’

Duo pact on videogame franchise

Vivendi Games is pacting with Sony Pictures to turn “Ghostbusters” into a videogame franchise.

First title in what the publisher hopes will be a series of “Ghostbusters” games is set for release in fall ’08 from Vivendi’s Sierra label.

All four members of the movie team — Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis — will be giving voice and likeness rights for the game. Some supporting castmembers have signed up as well, including William Atherton, Brian Doyle Murray and Annie Potts.

In addition, film scribes Aykroyd and Ramis will pen a story for the vidgame that takes place in the early ’90s, after “Ghostbusters II,” during a new ghoul invasion of New York City.

Deal comes on the heels of several other classic movies that have recently been adapted into successful vidgames, including EA’s “The Godfather” and Vivendi’s own “Scarface: The World Is Yours.”

“We noticed we did well on ‘Scarface’ and were alert for new opportunities to turn iconic film products into games in a way that is a new manifestation of the franchise,” Vivendi Games CEO Bruce Hack said. “‘Ghostbusters’ is unquestionably among the small number of movies in that class.”

Vivendi has sold more than 2.5 million units of last year’s “Scarface” game worldwide, grossing more than $125 million and making it a solid success, if not quite at the level of top franchises like “Halo.” Though Vivendi hasn’t yet confirmed plans, a sequel is known to be in the works.

Hack noted that, in making both deals, Vivendi did a survey of gamers asking which movie properties they would like to see turned into videogames. “Scarface” and “Ghostbusters” were both in the top five.

Publisher is particularly optimistic for the chances of “Ghostbusters” because, unlike the young male-targeted “Scarface,” it has the potential to appeal to children and adults. Developer Terminal Reality is making a “Ghostbusters” game for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 aimed primarily at the core gamer demographic, while Red Fly Studio is making a version for Playstation 2, Wii and DS designed more for families and casual gamers.

With the addition of “Ghostbusters,” Vivendi now has several licensed franchises in its portfolio, including “Scarface,” the Robert Ludlum books such as “Bourne Identity” and “Covert One,” and rapper 50 Cent.

It’s the first major vidgame deal for one of its library titles that Sony Pictures has made. Studio talked with several publishers before making a deal with Vivendi. Such deals can be quite lucrative because licensing revenue comes in with very little spending on the studio’s side. Advances for multiyear deals on major franchises such as “Ghostbusters” are typically in the tens of millions of dollars.

“This brand is a very important asset for the studio, and we feel it’s prime time for it to be rediscovered through videogames,” said Mark Caplan, VP of Sony’s consumer products division.

Several “Ghostbusters” games came out around the time of the two movies, and one in the past decade has been tied to the animated series “Extreme Ghostbusters.”

Check it out!

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Banijay Rights Signs First Look Deal

    Banijay Rights Signs First Look Deal with Tigerlily Prods.

    Seeking to expand its scripted offering, Banijay Rights has signed a first look development deal with Tigerlily Productions, a U.K. production company whose credits include David Farr’s “The Ones Below” and “Remainder” with Tom Sturridge. The deal covers scripted programming developed, created and produced by Tigerlily for the U.K. and international markets. Tigerlily Productions, which [...]

  • Blanco-en-Blanco

    Stray Dogs Picks Up Int’l Sales Rights to Venice-bound ‘Blanco en Blanco’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile – In the run-up to the upcoming 76th Venice Int’l Film Festival, Paris-based Stray Dogs has closed international sales rights on Chilean drama “Blanco en Blanco,” which holds its world premiere in the festival’s Horizons sidebar. Filmed last year in the frigid tundra of Chile’s Tierra de Fuego and Spain’s tropical Canary Islands, [...]

  • Gerard Butler Angel Has Fallen

    Film Review: 'Angel Has Fallen'

    “Angel Has Fallen” marks the third time that Gerard Butler, as the Secret Service agent and scowling samurai cowboy Mike Banning, has had to rescue the President of the United States from an international conspiracy so cuckoo bananas that the movie barely expects you to believe it. (Actually, in the six years since this series [...]

  • Jessica

    Ninja Thyberg's Female POV Porn Industry Portrait Seduces Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Paris-based Versatile has announced a raft of pre-sales on Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature “Jessica,” set in the adult entertainment industry in L.A. World distributors that have pre-bought the Swedish drama take in Weltkino for Germany/Austria, Xenix for Switzerland, MK2/Mile End for Canada, KTH for South Korea and Movie Could for Taïwan. Several [...]

  • Sony Pictures: 'We Are Disappointed' by

    Sony 'Disappointed' by Disney's Divorce on 'Spider-Man' Projects

    Sony Pictures has gone public over its divorce with Disney on future “Spider-Man” projects. In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato Joins Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'

    Demi Lovato has joined the upcoming Netflix comedy film “Eurovision.” Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the film with Andrew Steele, announced the news Tuesday with an Instagram post, in which he wished Lovato a happy birthday with a “homemade” cake. Following the announcement, Lovato can be seen blowing out candles on the cake next to a “Eurovision” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content