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‘Ghostbusters: Now Hiring’ unexpectedly launches for PlayStation VR

Why it matters to you

Sony's interesting model for Ghostbusters: Now Hiring means fan input could steer the direction of future episodes.

Surprise game releases aren’t unprecedented, but they certainly aren’t common. We usually know about a game many months, if not years, in advance of its launch. The steady ramping of hype gets gamers geared up for the game’s arrival. Unexpected releases hailing from classic intellectual properties? Even less likely. Ghostbusters: Now Hiring, a game not known to be in development, has launched for PlayStation VR.

Sony accompanied the unexpected release with a brief launch trailer. Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt plays the Icon Ghost — your guide. “I bet you’re here for the ghostbusting chops,” Oswalt says. This setup, which puts you in the shoes of a new Ghostbusters recruit, serves as a reintroduction to the franchise that stumbled last year with both the Ghostbusters film reboot and the game tie-in.

According to io9, Ivan Reitman, co-creator of the franchise, played a huge role in the project. “I think Ghostbusters is this wonderful [intellectual property] because it has so many storytelling opportunities,” Reitman said. “And it’s a particularly good one for VR.”

Now Hiring is a bit of an experiment, though. It’s an episodic venture, the first of which is called Firehouse, but by the sounds of it, you never actually enter the firehouse. Instead, Slimer breaks free and it’s up to you to catch him with the help of your proton pack, ghost trap, and Icon Ghost’s directions. Firehouse largely takes place in the Ghostbusters HQ, giving virtual reality users the opportunity to explore the hallowed walls. Don’t expect to explore for very long, however, as the entire episode runs about 10 minutes.

Speaking with io9, Sony’s senior vice president of VR Jake Zim claimed that the studio will wait for fan reactions to see if chapter two will be made. Interestingly, they want to hear from fans on possible directions for the narrative. “Ghostbusters is so big you can kind of go all over the place,” he said.

Ghostbusters: Now Hiring — Firehouse is available now for $7 on the PlayStation Store.