Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Are Filmation The Fly In... Er... Zootfly's Ointment?

I've recieved a tip-off from a videogame industry friend that sheds some interesting new light on those Ghostbusters video game clips that turned up online recently.

Apparently, the clips do show a genuine game, in development by Zootfly for the X-Box 360 (cheer if you must). Unfortunately, it seems that the game may never get released. The story I have been told sought to remind me of the copyright issues surrounding the original film's title...

There had previously been a cartoon series from Filmation, entitled The Ghost Busters. This was obviously going to be a sticking point, so before the feature was released a little legal tussle was followed by a short spot of cheque writing, all in order to secure the use of a similar name. Now, there certainly were Ghostbusters videogame titles released in the 80s, so I'm not sure how the following adds up but apparently this deal with Filmation doesn't extend to cover Zootfly's in-development title.

At least, that's what I'm being told. It comes from a friend, but until I know his source... pinch of salt.

Personally, I would have found it more probable that Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson or, most likely of all, Bill Murray were not wanting to sanction their likeness for use in the game - but that's not the story as I'm hearing it right now. Time will tell.

[EDIT: Zootfly themselves have issued a statement. Here it is:
We are very glad to see the overwhelming response to the Ghostbusters prototype movies. What you’ve seen is indeed in-game footage of early prototypes on the Xbox 360, running on ZootFly’s proprietary engine. Due to licensing issues, further development of the game hit a bump on the road, but everybody here at ZootFly is working actively on resolving the challenges with the owners of the GhostbustersGhostbusters IP.

Not to lose the momentum, a part of the ZootFly team is currently working on an original game calleed TimeO, which is closely related to Ghostbusters. The game follows the adventures of two die-hard New Yorkers. They get trapped deep in the shadow world of a parallel New York. The city itself is a war machine threatening to wipe out our world and they have three days to stop it.

As soon as the Ghostbusters IP issue is resolved, the whole team will go back to Ghostbusters. In the meantime, please enjoy [the] two movies]

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