Capcom’s financial ups and downs over the past few years have been dramatic to say the least. The Street Fighter company has watched major HD console games like Dark Void bomb with critics and fans, while tiny mobile games have picked up the slack. Back in 2011, the company saw income from big releases crash but mobile/social games grew exponentially thanks to the popularity of The Smurfs’ Village on Facebook, success that carried on into 2012. Capcom is tapping another ‘80s pop culture icon in a bid to replicate The Smurfs’ success. Who you gonna call?
Beeline Interactive, the studio behind The Smurfs’ Village and Smurf Life, is making a Ghostbusters game for Capcom. The game has some of the spirit of the classic PC Ghostbusters game from the 1980s, since your goal is to build up a Ghostbusters business rather than recreate the adventures of Egon, Winston, Ray, and Peter Venkman. “Ghostbusters is more about building out your Ghostbusters franchise and taking your squad on missions,” a Beeline representative told Joystiq, “Snoopy and Smurfs are really ‘city’ builders by comparison.”
Smurfs’ Village and Beeline’s other games have been downloaded more than 74 million times over the past two years, so why move onto a different brand and style? To hook men. The primary audience for Beeline’s games to date has been women, and the popularity of the Ghostbusters series with men should help Capcom lure in the audience enjoying similar games like Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Capcom has also announced that Beeline is officially its core casual game brand going forward.
Beeline’s Ghostbusters will be out in early 2013
It’s not entirely clear what this means for the future of Ghostbusters games. As of 2011, Atari still held the rights to the Ghostbusters license. The diminished publisher and developer’s last major console game was actually 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game, a sequel to Ghostbusters 2 featuring the original cast and written by Dan Ackroyd. The game sold moderately well, but failed to connect with many gamers. Atari released a downloadable multiplayer title called Ghostbusters: The Sanctum of Slime in late 2011, but the game was met with bad reviews and limited sales on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
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