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Get Ready for the Ultimate Ghostbusters Fan Fest in 2019!

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Getting a jump on Ghostbusters Day 2018 announcements and celebrations, Wizard World and Ghost Corps announced today their plans for next year. June 8th and 9th, 2019 they're once again opening the doors to the Sony Pictures lot for a Ghostbusters convention in celebration of the original film's 35th anniversary, and Ghostbusters II's 30th anniversary. More information including how to get tickets and programming will surely be coming soon, but in the meantime here is a full press release with all we know so far.

Wizard World Teams With Sony Pictures and Ghost Corps on Ghostbusters Fan Fest Presented by Wizard World, June 8-9, 2019, Celebrating Iconic Film's 35th Anniversary

Year-long Countdown Begins Today At Wizard World Comic Con Columbus With Free Single- Day Admission, 'Ghostbusters'-Themed Programs This Weekend; Fan Fest To Be Held On Sony Pictures Studio Lot Featuring 'Ghostbusters' Creators, Talent and Crew; Event Continues IP Collaboration With Sony

CULVER CITY, California, June 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In anticipation of Ghostbusters Day tomorrow, the anniversary of the classic comedy which released 34 years ago on June 8, 1984, Wizard World, Sony Pictures and Ghost Corps have teamed up to announce an extraordinary live event, the Ghostbusters Fan Fest presented by Wizard World, to be held June 8-9, 2019 at Ghost Corps headquarters on the famed Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, Calif. Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD), which produces the largest touring pop culture convention series, will produce the Ghostbusters Fan Fest.

Ghostbusters Fan Fest presented by Wizard World will be the ultimate celebration of the film, which starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson and was directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. For the 35th anniversary, fans will participate in exclusive panels, meet the Ghostbusters creators, talent and crew and experience Ghostbusters augmented reality and virtual reality games.

The celebration is officially ON at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus this weekend, with any fan cosplaying in Ghostbusters attire receiving a single-day admission to the event, by visiting the Special Guest Registration booth and showing off his/her Ghostbusters attire. Attendees can also take part in themed events such as a "Slimer" demonstration, trivia and more at Wizard World's eighth annual trip to Columbus.

"Wizard World is proud to team with Sony Pictures and Ghost Corps to celebrate the anniversary of a film which has been the source of enjoyment for so many of our fans over the years," said John D. Maatta, Wizard World CEO. "We are honored that these keepers of the Ghostbusters legacy have entrusted us with producing the high-quality events that we are known for, and are pleased to continue our IP collaboration with Sony Pictures in such a significant way. Sony Pictures continues to be creative and innovative in all of our dealing with them."

"Ghostbusters continues to have a strong fanbase across the world and we are pleased to celebrate the 35th anniversary with a collaboration with Wizard World," added Jeffrey Godsick, Executive Vice President, Brand Strategy and Global Partnerships for Sony Pictures. "We know they will create great experiences at all of their conventions, and they are pulling out all the stops in creating the ultimate fan experience for the Ghostbusters Fan Fest next year."

Over the next year, Wizard World will present a touring experience at Wizard World Comic Con events throughout the country featuring a pop-up shop with exclusive Ghostbusters merchandise. Next year, following the Ghostbusters Fan Fest Event, Wizard World will continue to tour the additional elements debuted for the 35th anniversary celebration. Details will be linked at www.wizardword.com.

Fans can learn more about the Ghostbusters Fan Fest presented by Wizard World starting tomorrow at www.ghostbusters.com.

In Stores and Online Now: Ghostbusters Ectomobile Owner's Workshop Manual

Now available wherever fine books are sold, the Ghostbusters: Ectomobile - Owner's Workshop Manual! This book goes far beyond just telling you tire pressure and oil change schedule. Learn how to properly operate a standard-issue Ghost Trap. Be kind to your fellow co-workers and finish the Containment Unit procedures to the final step. Learn how and why a Proton Pack uses ions to exhausted and ensnare the supernatural. All that plus do's and don'ts for uniforms and a whole lot more! No Ghostbuster should ever leave home without this handy reference guide - available for purchase on Amazon, at your local Barnes & Noble, the famous Ray's Occult in Manhattan, or wherever fine purveyors of supernatural manuscripts are sold!

The Game We Received, Not Necessarily the Game We Deserved

There's a line in Kids in the Hall's Brain Candy, where the pharmaceutical company is so desperate to find their next hit product after the massive success of the drug "Stummies," and a character begins a pitch by saying, "Well, it's a lot like Stummies..." 

I can only imagine that the pitch meeting for Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter started out very similarly. Someone in the room posited, "Well, it's a lot like Bejeweled," and the rest was history.

First, I should mention that the intention of Ghostbusters HQ is not to become a review site. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with differing opinions than mine who will enjoy things that I don't, so I don't want to get into the business of throwing up reviews and opinions that might sway someone away from something they like. I also hate bad reviews, which as I started playing, I knew this would come off as. But a representative of the Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter PR team reached out to me and offered me a review copy of the game and I figured, what the heck - I had zero interest in the game before but since they're sending it my way, I'll give it a chance.

After downloading from the App Store, you're greeted with an incredibly lengthy loading screen that looks a lot like this. Those of the old guard that once played David Crane's Ghostbusters will understand this but this load screen stays up a good ten times longer than the Commodore 64 took to load that game in the mid-1980s. It could have been a result of getting a preview of the game and the servers weren't ready for it, or there was a giant update to the game needed that wasn't in what was downloaded through the App Store, but I gave it a good five minutes before putting the phone to sleep and moving on.

I came back to the phone later in the work day to find that whatever the game had needed to download had completed, but was a little surprised at how simplistic the game was given the lengthy load time on the front-end. What about this game could have possibly taken that long to load? As mentioned, it's essentially a skinned version of Bejeweled with a "RPG" element placed on top of it without much motivation. There's also a story but the writing and voices of the characters are so out of tone that I ended up reading the first couple static screens and skipping past them from that point forward. Janine reads like a strange character from the Nicolas Cage Valley Girl, turning uncharacteristic phrases like, "Shake your tush, bozo." Venkman comes off like a frat boy creep, and everything just feels... off. Between the strange stilted writing and the odd character design (that initially faced a lot of criticism because of how crazy hyper-sexualized it was after the initial announcement of the game), it really reminds you how difficult the tone of this franchise is to perfectly capture.

Once I was finally into the gameplay, it's identical to the current trend of Candy Crush and Dots mobile games where you're swiping to match consecutive colors/jewels in order to eliminate them from the board. If you've played one of those puzzle games since 2001, you've played Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter. The only somewhat new mechanic is the battle aspect of it all. You take a turn, then the AI opponent takes a stab, and so on while you "fight" your opponent draining XP with every eliminated set of jewels.

The Ghostbusters aspect of the game is really just the skin as you amass player cards and characters from the Ghostbusters franchise to do battle with you and you choose your team going into it. This aspect has been sold as a "card game" akin to Magic: The Gathering but because of the gameplay mechanics, it falls flat. Even if I received a super-awesome character card and decide to play it in the next round, I'm still swiping to connect three or more identical tokens. Essentially it feels a lot like one of those puzzle games you got as a party favor at your best friends' birthday where you need to put the marbles into the divots in the playing field: the cardboard background has Ghostbusters on it, but the game pretty much has nothing to do with Ghostbusters at all. Maybe the card game aspect should have been the actual game mechanic and the antiquated 15-year old feeling Bejeweled clone could have been jettisoned, and it would have made it feel more compelling to me? I'm not entirely sure what could have kept me interested, to be completely honest.

All-in-all, I probably played three rounds of the game and felt finished with it. Total time playing the game maybe five or ten minutes. Which I believe is the purpose. It's a quick distraction while you're waiting in a lobby or sitting at the airport that you don't have to think that much about. The good news is that it's free, it most likely relies on in-game purchases for additional levels, characters, etc. but I never even got to that part of the game and probably won't. 

Hopefully this is just a place-holder for Capcom/Beeline to maintain the license until they unveil something more elaborate up their sleeves. A quick skin of an existing product to keep the brand awareness up while they work on a more complex and actually Ghostbusters-related title. I hate to be so down on it, I'm sure a lot of folks worked incredibly hard on it and worse had to scramble and redesign several aspects of the game at the last-minute. Just not really my cup of tea. I'm sure others will kick a kick out of it.

A Collection of News Spores for July 9

The past two weeks have been a flurry of Ghostbusters-related activity between Ghostbusters (2016) production occurring on the east coast, and the San Diego Comic-Con happening on the west coast. GBHQ isn't a breaking news kind of place but there's so much going on we wanted to present a "collection of spores" all in one space to get you up to speed...

"MOICHINDISING!"

(Photo courtesy of the Ghostbusters of Southern California)

Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 kicked off the week's festivities yesterday and many of the key Ghostbusters licensors had their goods already out on display. The Ghostbusters of Southern California were on the scene to snap some photos of the upcoming Diamond Select line-up of action figures as well as a mystery glass case at the Mattel booth that eventually contained one of the Ghostbusters (2016) proton pack props from production (and presumably, will also contain more goods following the licensing presentation on Friday).

1:4 THE HERO

Hollywood Collectables Group has been working on Ghostbusters-related merchandise behind the scenes for the better part of the year (or longer), some people speculated that a 1:1 prop or two might be in the works. But it was revealed that they are going to unveil their 1:4 scaled Peter Venkman statue at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. They took to Facebook to give us a little sneak peek of the figure and the crazy amount of detail that will be put into each and every statue. Can't wait to see the full reveal.

SAVING THE DAY

Now here's something you don't see every day. According to Boston news outlet WHIDH, there was an altercation between two local Bostonians near the Chinatown filming location of Ghostbusters (2016). An elderly woman was assaulted and the production crew aided the Boston Police in their investigation. On an unfortunate note, WHIDH says the 72-year old woman is not expected to survive.