John Melchior is credited for "Additional Dialogue & Story" for Ghostbusters: The Video Game but in reality is a co-writer of the game's script (Stylized Version only). Melchior was originally a Vivendi Universal executive and served as a executive producer but through the course of the game's development, his role was reduced to handling talent and approvals. He is essentially one of four men who got the video game made.


Vivendi Universal's Executive Producer John Melchior wanted to work on a Ghostbusters game after work on Fox properties like "Simpsons Hit and Run." Melchior started meeting with Sony Pictures's Consumer Products executive Mark Caplan.[1] In January 2006, a party from Terminal Reality, consisting of Mark Randel (President & Chief Technologist), Brendan Goss (Executive Producer), John O'Keefe (Studio Director), and Drew Haworth (Creative Director), visited Vivendi Entertainment as part of a tour to show off their Infernal Engine next-gen technology demo and an original game intellectual property. Vivendi Executive Producers John Melchior and Pete Wanat watched the demo, asked some questions, then went outside to discuss privately. Melchior and Wanat returned and revealed Vivendi was working on a movie license intellectual property that wasn't tied to an upcoming movie release, Ghostbusters. Vivendi Universal took on the project with developer Terminal Reality. [2][3] Vivendi's CEO told Melchior he had two weeks and as many plane tickets to get the game greenlight. Melchior met with Dan Aykroyd at the House of Blues. He was walked through the pitch and shown concept art, some by Grant Gosler. Dan Aykroyd was shown a demo of Slimer being captured in the Sedgewick Hotel ballroom. Aykroyd immediately was interested and in. He brought Harold Ramis in to the process. Melchior spoke to Harold Ramis next. Ramis was daunted by the nature of a video game script which needed to account for all possible player actions. The meeting ended on a good note. Ramis talked to Aykroyd then he was in. Bringing back the original cast had mixed results. Melchior attempted to contact Bill Murray. He called Murray's infamous phone number and left a message. He didn't hear anything in nine months. [4][5]

Vivendi executives didn't like the $20 million cost. The budget was slashed between 25% and 40% and Terminal was told to work on all versions of the game. Melchior was livid. A Creative Director at Vivendi thought the game was a bad idea if they weren't getting Murray. Melchior met with the executives. Four hours of arguing went on. Aykroyd joined the discussion over the phone and defended the game's potential. Terminal's budget was restored and other studios continued on their versions of the game. Haworth came up with a plan B to get Bill Murray to join: Brian Doyle-Murray. Doyle-Murray was hired to play the Mayor. He was brought in to look at the game and his character. Doyle-Murray was skeptical they did this for all the actors. Terminal created a likeness of him. They talked to him about the game. He asked about his brother. Doyle-Murray liked the game. At the end of the meeting, he realized they wanted to tell Murray he thought the game was good. Melchior admitted to the ulterior motives. Within two days, Bill Murray's attorney contacted Vivendi with news he agreed to reprise his role. There was a 'dogpile of producers' in the hallway when the call came.[6] Over a weekend on July 2 and 3, 2008, Bill Murray's recordings were delivered. On a Saturday, around 6-7 am, Murray arrived. They recorded lines, took a lot of breaks, Melchior kept him engaged by talking baseball, then said he could record the rest on Sunday. Melchior and associate producer Ben Borth hardly slept. Fortunately, Murray came for the second recording. He only finished half of his scripted 750-800 lines. On the flight from New York to Los Angeles, Melchior called Haworth and the script was revised. Aykroyd, Hudson, and Ramis returned to the recording booths for 7-8 hours for free to fill in for the lines Murray didn't record.[7][8][9][10] [11]

On July 9, 2008, the Activision/Vivendi merger occurred just after Sierra had announced that a restored Ecto-1 would be touring across the country as a part of the summer/fall Hot Import Nights shows.[12] It was believed Activision was only going to keep Blizzard and Spyro. They weren't interested in the other 90% of games. The game was suddenly in jeopardy again. Melchior and co. pitched their projects to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and his executive team. They weren't interested in Ghostbusters. Aykroyd and Ramis called Melchior's wife to tell her it was going to be okay. Without a publisher, development continued in an air of uncertainty.[13] After four months, in late 2008, Atari made an offer. Terminal accepted. Atari lacked Vivendi's resources like marketing, went through leadership changes, and operated on a very tight budget. Melchior's role changed to mainly handling talent and approvals. He lost his Executive Producer credit. In the credits, he was given a "Special Thanks."[14] On April 20, 2009, Melchior received an email from Harold Ramis. It read, "By all accounts the game is great to play and I hope it's a big hit for everyone, and the fallout has been a keen interest in the future of a Ghostbusters sequel, so thank you for keeping the spark alive." [15]

Ghostbusters Related

External Links


  1. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  2. IGN Developer Blog "It Begins" by Drew Haworth Terminal Reality Creative Director 1/23/09
  3. "Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Ryan French Interview" (ts. 6:08-7:00) Ryan says: "As far as I'm concerned there's about four people who really made this game happen. Um the executive producers who originally got this game started were Pete Wanat and John Melchior. They had the idea and tossed it around here at Sierra for a long time. And the idea built momentum and they got a developer interested and we got a really great ah game demo from Terminal Reality and we showed it to the top brass here at Sierra and they got behind it. So then we showed it to Mark Caplan over.. and Keith Hargrove over at Sony and Mark and Keith liked it. And they in turn got everyone at Sony excited. Then with their blessing we showed it to Dan Akyroyd. And that was really the tipping point because Dan Aykroyd got so behind it he in turn got the rest of the cast involved."
  4. Wallace, Daniel (2015). Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History, p. 202-203. Insight Editions, San Rafael CA USA, ISBN 9781608875108. Mark Randel says: "Dan Aykroyd was looking for ways to get Ghostbusters III made. We showed the demo of capturing Slimer in the ballroom to Dan, and he brought Harold in."
  5. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  6. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  7. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  8. Fantastic Fest Day 8/September 25, 2008, Bill Murray 5:15-6:53 Bill Murray says "We did the video game this summer"
  9. GB Fans skankerzero post 5/29/13
  10. Cross the Streams Episode 38 19:40-23:19
  11. Cross the Streams Episode 29 42:16-43:43
  12. ars technica "The birth, death, and rebirth of the Ghostbusters game" 1/19/09
  13. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  14. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16
  15. Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.