I am writing about your recent decision to release the Ghostbusters game solely on Sony consoles across Europe in June. A decision that will most likely anger thousands of gamers and loyal supporters of Atari.
Having promised the title would be a cross-platform release over two years ago, you have openly double-crossed gamers with an empty promise. All for a wad of cash from Sony.
You cannot buy - or sell - true greatness - and you certainly for one cannot buy Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters franchise is not just a game, to many it's an experience, a classic 80s joyride which many grew up with - myself included.
Atari, you wouldn't want to take us for a joyride, would you?
Gamers aren't unintelligent - ultimately we are the collective who keep your company running. Who applaud you when a job is done good, and complain when a job becomes corrupt.
I wouldn't mind if Ghostbusters was a PS3 exclusive from the beginning. But it wasn't even a month since a regular game development update when Sony put out a press release stating: "Ghostbusters to be published in PAL territories by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
"Meaning that owners of PS3 and PlayStation 2 will get their hands on the game that reunites the cast of the hit movies."
You have given with one hand, and taken with the other. You have created a beautiful-looking game and given it to owners of PlayStations only.
Not only have you done this - but you have let down thousands of Xbox and Wii owners in Europe. You promised them a game, and have just gone back on your word.
The age of console exclusives is declining - and an iconic movie such as Ghostbusters deserves to be a cross-platform release when it arrives on computer consoles across Europe.
There are three steps you can choose to take from this moment on:
- Re-negotiate with Sony and release the game on other platforms in June.
- Let the European gaming community know if the game is to be released on other consoles at a later date.
- Do nothing. I run a gaming blog in my part time and have a wide variety contacts in the games and media industry who can - and will - take action, should you wish. A petition is very easy to create nowadays with the wonders of the Interweb - and I'm sure you wouldn't welcome bad publicity in the press. There are already fragments of disappointed gamers emerging - even some on your own Atari forum.
There is plenty of time before the scheduled June 19 release date to make a positive decision, make thousands of gamers happy - and bring in the revenue your company deserves - in a morally correct fashion.
I strongly urge you to consider steps one or three, and to take action as soon as possible. If no decision is made before June 19, I will have to take action myself.
The choice is yours.
I look forward to your response.
Gamer, Ghostbusters fan, journalist
Update: Some people have informed me of the following article on MCV. However, Atari has not yet announced a release date for platforms other than the PS2, PS3 and PSP, and I for one don't trust promises made by an "Atari spokesperson."
My letter still stands.
For everyone else reading this blog post who don't yet know what the game looks like, you can see the official trailer here (note the variety of consoles confirmed at the end of the video - all now canned apart from the PS3):