Location-based AR game Ghostbusters World is creeping closer to launch, and developer FourThirtyThree has released some new gameplay footage and a trailer to capture the interest of the living.
As hinted by previous gameplay reveals, the game from Sony Pictures and franchise caretaker Ghost Corps borrows liberally from location-based AR standard-bearer Pokémon GO while putting its own spin on the gameplay.
Instead of hunting pocket monsters in the real world for later battles, players in Ghostbusters World, predictably, capture ghosts. The game replaces the ball-tossing mechanics with a first-person shooter style game, where players blast the ghosts with a variety of proton guns, defend against counter-attacks, and then toss out a ghost trap to capture them.
The game also offers a wide variety of turn-based battle modes, including a story mode, daily player-versus-computer challenges, and player-versus-player arenas that are available regardless of location. For location-based battles, the game offers a raid mode, where multiple players must congregate at the same location and cooperate in a battle to take down high-powered bosses.
If you ain't afraid of no ghosts, then you can pre-register for the game through the App Store or on Google Play. A release date has not been disclosed, but I'd wager my kids' future Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Roll earnings from trick-or-treating that it will arrive before Oct. 31.
With the runaway success of Pokémon GO, The Pokémon Company and Niantic have kicked off a gold rush among franchise owners and game makers alike to cash in on similarly crafted mobile AR games. And while Pokémon GO developer Niantic built the template for location-based AR games, the arrival of AR development tools have made the games easier to replicate. ARKit and ARCore enable game developers to display 3D content in physical environments, while the Google Maps API gives them the ability to overlay virtual worlds over real world locations.
Ghostbusters World joins The Walking Dead: Our World and Jurassic World Alive, all three of which are facilitated by ARKit, ARCore, and the Google Maps API, in competition for mainstream AR gaming dollars. Before the end of the year, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will also join the fray through Niantic.
Initial results for such mobile AR games are promising, with The Walking Dead: Our World raking in $8 million worldwide in its first two months, and Jurassic World Alive generating more than $25 million. However, their combined revenues pale in comparison to Pokémon GO, which captured more than $1 billion in revenue by the end of the year following its launch.
Nonetheless, considering that Pokémon GO has continued to sustain its revenue stream despite the waning of the mainstream hype around the game, a relatively smaller piece of the pie over the long haul is too tantalizing for other franchises like Ghostbusters and others to pass up.
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