Rumor Killers: October 17

Does Ghostbusters Finally Have a Publisher?
In our last edition of this fine column, we brought you word that 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, which had been dumped during the Activision/Vivendi merger, was being picked up by THQ. We also lamented the fact that Brutal Legend and Ghostbusters were still waiting on someone to love them. Well it seems as though another puppy may be on its way home from the pound, as Dan Akroyd would have you believe that Atari is set to publish the Ghostbusters game.

During an interview with the Dallas Live 105.3 radio station, Akroyd mentioned that the game has been picked up by Atari, and is about "a year away" from being released. This corroborates earlier reports that had the game pegged as being snatched up by Atari, so it’s beginning to look more and more like this is the case.

Now then both the rapper and the ghosts seem to have new homes, but what about the time-traveling roadie? This world doesn’t deserve you Tim Shaffer, in some parallel universe you’d be treated as a god. Still though, Ghostbusters fans that have been anxious about their game’s future needn’t fear, as it looks like things are on their way. While we lack an official confirmation from Atari, we think that if they weren’t publishing the game we would have heard by now, so this one falls just shy of confirmed.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Very Likely

Is Metal Gear Solid 4 Coming to the Xbox 360?
All throughout the development of MGS 4 we kept hearing about how it was just a matter of time before it lost its PS3 exclusivity and came out on the Xbox 360. Those rumors never came true though, and the game finally launched earlier this year as a PS3 exclusive. Just when the book seemed closed on the whole thing, now we have word once more that Konami is considering it after all.

According to PR rep Yoshitaka Arai, "The worldwide demand for an Xbox 360 version (of MGS4) is quite high, and it is something we are currently looking in to." Arai’s statement is further backed up by that of another anonymous Konami employee, who claimed that the company is "actively looking into a release for the Xbox 360." Sounds like this whole affair might not be so far-fetched after all.

Of course, the biggest stumbling block for MGS 4 on the Xbox 360 is the Blu-ray factor, with game creator Hideo Kojima saying on multiple occasions that the game simply wouldn’t work compressed onto a standard DVD. Microsoft’s John Schappert sees things differently though, and is convinced that the game could make the jump to the Xbox 360 just fine.

"I’m certainly in the fan club that would love to see Kojima-san’s masterpiece come our way. It would be wonderful to play Metal Gear Solid on the Xbox. It could become another of the many franchises that started their life on another console that are now coming our way… I can’t speak on behalf of Konami," he added, "but I can shed more light on the fact that we definitely have the power to run MGS4. There are a lot of recent examples that are in true high-def on our platform and aren’t on PS3. We’ve got an amazing amount of horsepower and graphics power."

But as it turns out, all this speculation is for naught, as the Japanese newspaper that originally ran the story has now retracted the whole thing. They’ve tried to wipe the slate completely clean and say that none of this ever happened, and rather than apologize for getting our feelings up they don’t want to admit we even have feelings in the first place. So this rumor dies once more, and Snake goes back to the retirement home, pulling on a cigarette while silently crushed that the world doesn’t need him anymore.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Killed

Are New Details About to Emerge on Half Life 2: Episode 3?

Few FPS games are as well-written or universally beloved as the Half Life 2 franchise. Every time Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance suit up to drive out the Combine and unravel the secrets of the mysterious invasion, gamers are more than happy to come along for the ride. Unfortunately, the Half Life episodes are few and far between, and getting any new info out of Valve is near impossible. From the sounds of things though, we might not have to wait much longer.

In a recent interview, Valve PR guru Doug Lombardi mentioned that new info on Episode 3 could be coming very soon, possibly even "by the end of the year." So in that case, we should be in store for something in the next couple months, though I have no idea what. Hopefully it’s not just one screenshot of Freeman holding a pistol and standing in an empty field, as that would be cruel.

But even though Valve is planning to fill us in on some new info soon, gamers shouldn’t get their hopes up too much, as Lombardi admitted in the same interview that the new game is still a long way off.

"Yeah, the next time you play as Gordon will be longer than the distance between HL2 to Ep1, and Ep1 to Ep2," he said.

For those doing the math, that means that it will likely be at least 2010 before we see the next chapter of the saga, possibly longer. For the impatient, that seems like a near eternity.

Buck up though, Valve itself is saying that we’ll be getting some fresh info soon, and seeing as how secretive they can be, that’s welcome news indeed. Of course, screenshots and trailers aren’t as good as a finished copy in our hands, but masterpieces take time, and you really can’t rush something as important as Half Life.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Confirmed

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