Publishing Rights Sticky for Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Publishing rights prove to be a sticky business for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, as Sony has just announced an "11th-hour deal" to exclusively publish the movie tie-in title in Europe. According to MCV, a Sony spokesperson confirmed that the game will be releasing for the PlayStation 3, PS2 and PSP consoles on June 19th "to co-incide with the release of the Blu Ray movie from Sony Pictures." Since Sony still owns the rights to the Ghostbusters film franchise, it wouldn't be surprising if this news extended to the U.S. launch dates, although Gamasutra notes that this "won't affect the game's North American release," which is still being helmed by Atari.

It's not all bad news for the UK, though, since a PSP version has been confirmed to launch as part of Sony's exclusive deal, but it'll hit shelves sometime later in Autumn. Still, the deal may effectively cut the launch sales for other consoles, since Ghostbusters won't be coming to the UK on Xbox 360, DS and Wii until "later this year". What a blow for Atari; let's see if they hold on to all their publishing rights in America.

I'm probably reading into things a little too deeply, but does anyone think that Sony's former relationship with Phil Harrison, Atari's new current head executive, has anything to do with this sudden business deal?

See Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's press release here about the new release info:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sony Pictures, and Atari Europe today announced that Ghostbusters: The Video Game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 is to be published in PAL territories by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in June, meaning that owners of PS3 and PlayStation 2 will get their hands on the game that reunites the cast of the hit movies.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the well-loved franchise, the game will launch in coordination with the Blu-ray release of the original hit movie and licensing programs from Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. Ghostbusters: The Video Game will launch in Europe and PAL regions on June 19th 2009 exclusively for PS3 and PlayStation 2.

"We're committed to bringing the PlayStation family the biggest and best gaming experiences first," says Mark Hardy, European Product Marketing Director at SCEE, "and it doesn't get any bigger and better than this blockbuster title. This summer, PlayStation owners will be the first to grab their proton packs and fight the spirit world. We'd like to wish them the best of luck in their ghostbusting endeavours and, of course, to remind them not to cross the streams!"

"With our colleagues at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe publishing Ghostbusters: The Video Game, we are thrilled by the dynamic new Ghostbusters game. We think it will have tremendous appeal to gamers and we can't think of a better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this beloved franchise." said Mark Caplan, Vice President of Licensing-Interactive for Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. "With this superb game launching alongside the Blu-ray release, we will reach existing fans and the next generation, bringing them all into the irresistible Ghostbusters universe."

"Atari is committed to maximizing the launch of the Ghostbusters videogame across Europe," Said Jim Wilson, VP Worldwide Marketing, Atari. "In partnership with both Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Inc 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."

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