Don’t cross the streams!
Sony Pictures Virtual Reality is gearing up to launch “Ghostbusters VR Academy,” which will let fans of the 38-year-old movie franchise train to become Ghostbusters themselves.
The VR experience, described as an “immersive training simulator,” is being developed by Hologate, an operator of location-based virtual reality entertainment, in association with Ghost Corps. “Ghostbusters VR Academy” is slated to be available globally for at Hologate’s 400 locations by the end of 2022.
“Ghostbusters VR Academy” is broken up into two distinct games: One in which players battle supernatural foes together using the famous proton packs, and a second in which Ghostbusters trainees will pilot the flying ECTO prototype vehicle.
In the first game, for Hologate’s Arena multiplayer VR system, players will strap on proton packs and work together as a team in “high-risk ghost encounter scenarios” — all while confined to the safety of academy grounds (whew!) so there’s no risk of ectoplasmic exposure.
In the ECTO flying game, players compete to see who is the fastest and most skillful driver in a high-speed ghostly race. That one will run on Hologate’s Blitz, a motion-simulator platform designed for flying and racing games.
“For the first time ever, players will be able to train to be a real Ghostbuster in an amazing academy setting and race a new flying version of the ECTO using Hologate’s vehicle-motion simulator,” Jake Zim, VP of virtual reality for Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement. “This fantasy-fulfilling experience is only possible in virtual reality and with Hologate’s location-based entertainment technology.”
In addition, Zim confirmed that “Ghostbusters VR” (working title), the in-home four-player VR game announced in April, will also be coming to the PlayStation VR2 headset in addition to Meta Quest 2. There’s no release date as yet for the game.
Here’s a mockup of what the “Ghostbusters VR Academy” ECTO flying game for Hologate’s Blitz will look like:
“Sony Pictures VR is doing incredible things for virtual reality, and we’re thrilled to collaborate for this new experience,” Leif Petersen, founder and CEO of Hologate, said in a statement. The new VR experience “transcends reality so players can create memorable moments while fulfilling longtime wishes to operate iconic Ghostbusters equipment.”
Sony Pictures announced the new VR project Wednesday at its Ghostbusters Day event, marking the anniversary the original film’s June 8, 1984, release date. The studio revealed that a new animated “Ghostbusters” film is being developed by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan along with Sony Pictures Animation and that a sequel to Reitman and Kenan’s 2021 “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will be set in New York City.
In addition, Sony Pictures Animation is developing a “Ghostbusters” animated series for Netflix, with Reitman and Kenan on board as executive producers.
Other games published by Sony Pictures VR have included “Ghostbusters: Dimension” in collaboration with The Void, “Spider-Man: Homecoming VR,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home VR,” “Men in Black: First Assignment” in collaboration with Dreamscape, and “Zombieland: Headshot Fever.”
(Pictured above: “Ghostbusters VR Academy” concept art for Hologate’s Blitz)