In January 2007, Slovenian video game developer ZootFly uploaded several videos showcasing what looked like a brand-new Ghostbusters video game. A reimagining of the 1984 comedy, the setting was a dark, gritty world that took more inspiration from Gears of War than the Bill Murray-led comedy.
Following the reveal, the videos would see coverage from all the popular gaming sites, but as time went on, it was soon revealed that Zootlfy didn’t hold the Ghostbusters license. Instead, the footage was an attempt to garner the attention of Columbia Pictures in hopes of possibly adapting it into an official tie-in. Columbia would swiftly step in, having all content pulled.
Unbeknownst to Zootfly, what would become the critically-acclaimed Ghostbusters: The Video Game was in the early stages of development by Terminal Reality. In a weird twist of fate, the president of Terminal Reality, Mark Randel, would credit Zootfly for getting their project green-lit.
ZootFly helped us a lot. When we originally were working on Ghostbusters, probably six to nine months before ZootFly came out with their demo, that was actually before we were green-lit into production. And when the executives at Sierra saw the reaction to the ZootFly game, they immediately knew that we would have a hit on their hands, and they immediately green-lit the full game. So, indirectly, ZootFly really helped us get out game green-lit.
Mostly forgotten by fans, today, we have received an entirely unexpected surprise, as a user named gBstR_CoALpATch has leaked a build dated November 2006, uploading the files to Archive.org. Including the game’s source code, the prototype consists of one map, a desolate rendition of New York City, that while not including any objective, spawns an endless amount of ghosts and a fully destructible environment.
The leak stems from a 4Chan group, which previously made the news after leaking various prototypes of Duke Nukem Forever, Maniac Mansion, and Fester’s Quest.
If you’d like to give a download to Zootfly’s unreleased Ghostbusters prototype, there’s one thing you should know…
While Zootfly’s take on Ghostbusters totally existed, no playable rendition has ever surfaced. If it means anything, past jokes, particularly 2018 and 2019, eventually came true, and we still haven’t given up hope on that Lego Ghostbusters video game!