News: Ghostbusters World Might Be the Killer App for Google's ARCore Platform

Ghostbusters World Might Be the Killer App for Google's ARCore Platform

As part of its ARCore release announcement, Google also revealed a forthcoming app that's sure to excite those who celebrate '80s pop culture.

That app is Ghostbusters World, which is coming later this year from Sony Pictures Entertainment Consumer Products, Ghost Corps (the Columbia Pictures subsidiary that serves as the caretaker for the film franchise), and game publisher FourThirtyThree Inc.

Image by Ghostbusters World/YouTube

While the trailer for the game doesn't reveal much in terms of gameplay, the trailer's description promises "skill-based gameplay and numerous other exciting features yet to be announced." Players will be able to hunt virtual ghosts from the franchise's canon as well as "new and unique ghosts" introduced in the game.

Google shared some footage from the app in its ARCore announcement that gives a bit more insight into the gameplay. Skills-based gameplay evidently includes defensive tactics to fend off ghosts, firing plasma blasts at the supernatural targets, and capturing them via traps.

Images via Google

If that gameplay sounds awfully familiar, the game's website also lists Pokémon GO among its metatags. So at the very least, Sony Pictures and company are aiming for virality by association. But, based on the limited information available, we can reasonably hypothesize that the game will borrow from certain aspects of Niantic's location-based gaming playbook.

Many observers share the opinion that the success of Pokémon GO is akin to capturing lightning in the bottle. But, even though many others have attempted to copy that model, none have enjoyed the same success. It's hard to ignore the intellectual property behind the game, as Pokémon properties continue to draw fans young and old.

Will Ghostbusters scare up similar interest? Since the film reboot was considered a flop by financial measures despite favorable reviews, some skepticism is warranted. Then again, a VR destination experience by The Void last year demonstrated that the franchise can still command interest from a tech-enthusiastic audience.

All that said, I'm personally highly excited by the prospect of hunting ghosts with the similar fervor that I caught pocket monsters back in 2016. But, if Pokémon, Walking Dead, Harry Potter, or Ghostbusters don't stoke your interests, the current pace of development ensures that your favorite franchise will likely have its own AR app within the next year or so.

Cover image via Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

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