XMG Studio is an indie iOS developer in Toronto that's gotten to work with some very decidedly un-indie licenses. They have made a few popular and original iOS games already (including Cows vs. Aliens and Cannon Cadets), but lately they've been getting more and more involved in licensed work. They delivered an Inspector Gadget game last year, have an app out about the Canadian TV series Degrassi High, and now they've wrangled the official Ghostbusters license for iOS. And VP of Game Development Adam Telfer told us this week at Macworld that they're making a location-based game with it, of all things.
The game will be out this summer, and will use the iPhone's location tech to have players track down virtual ghosts in their real-world environments, both searching them on a map and then using the iPhone itself as a PK meter. They're using a Foursquare-style service to place the ghosts, too, so a ghost might appear at your regular Starbucks stop, you'll get a notification, and once you search for it, you'll be able to earn items and upgrades for searching for and capturing more ghosts. Location-based gaming is a genre that's kind of foundered on the iPhone, but Telfer says he and XMG have some ideas they're excited about, and he thinks the Ghostbusters franchise is a perfect fit. The game is set for a "soft launch" in Canada in a few months, with a launch in North America sometime in June.
As for XMG as a company, Telfer says that "this year we exploded." While the company started out with just six people working on an original game, the office is now up to about 45 employees, and rather than original IPs, Telfer says XMG is looking more for licensing bigger properties, and co-production on titles. Totally Amp'd is another example of that -- it's an app centered around a video series, where you can not only watch the video content, but also interact with the show and its characters in various ways.
We'll look forward to that Ghostbusters app as well. XMG is definitely finding some interesting business deals -- hopefully their take on the location-based gaming genre will live up to the much-loved movie license.