Sony Lands Ghostbusters Exclusive Outside North America
Atari has agreed to publish its upcoming Ghostbusters game as a timed Sony exclusive outside of North America. That means that starting on June 19th, the only place to play the Ghostbusters game in Europe will be on the PS3 or the PSP (thanks to a recently announced handheld version). In America, the Xbox 360 version will launch as normal alongside the PS3 game, because Atari was unwilling to offer Sony a timed exclusive in the lucrative North American market (also note that it is the territory with the most Xbox 360 consoles).
While this agreement is likely a boon for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, it will probably annoy Xbox 360 owners overseas. Atari has essentially agreed to keep the (completed) Xbox 360 title sitting in the warehouse for a set period of time in Europe, while it is already on sale in North America. Timed exclsuivity makes sense when one system is clearly the lead platform, but this seems to be an entirely artificial delay.
There was no mention of how long the timed exclusivity will last in Atari's statement to the press. It is unlikely to be much longer than six months, since the popularity of the game could fade quickly after the initial release. The June release date is set to correspond with the 25th Anniversary of the original film, which was produced in 1984 by Columbia Pictures. Sony owns the rights to the original movies and will issue a Blu-Ray movie collection alongside the game in European territories.
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