This is a story about money, betrayal, confrontation and revenge. It only needs a girl to be suitable for a 007 movie, and James Bond is indeed its main character. Since Microsoft and Nintendo launched their respective classic games download services, there has been a lot of talk about a possible and widely desired revision of Rare’s popular GoldenEye 007 for the N64. However, a massive whirlpool of legal issues always stood in the way.
But let’s recap the recent history of this game first, as it’s usually necessary to make people truly understand what’s going with it. Releasing any official version of GoldenEye 007 on any known current platform, through any known current company, would be the most complicated task in the planet right now. There are better chances we can get Mario Galaxy on the PlayStation 3 tomorrow than GoldenEye on any console other than the original N64. The reasons for this are the following:
GoldenEye 007 was developed in 1997 by Rare when they were a second party of Nintendo.
EA acquired the James Bond game licence in 1999, making it completely impossible for Nintendo or Rare to release any more Bond games, nor publish any new version of their GoldenEye without EA’s approval.
Rare became a first party of Microsoft in 2002, breaking up any legal relationship with Nintendo except for games developed for handheld systems.
Activision acquired the James Bond game licence in 2006, scratching EA out of the equation.
The same year, Nintendo of America’s CEO Reggie Fils-Aime announced their interest on getting GoldenEye 007 for Wii’s Virtual Console as a downloadable title.
Rare, Microsoft or Activision have never commented on the matter, although they were (and are) key pieces of the puzzle and necessary members of the discussion board that Nintendo probably approached to get the rights to release GoldenEye again.
The world never knew what happened with that negotiation, but now we might have the first hints about what could have been but never was last year. And the shocking fact is that GoldenEye 007 could have been in the development hell for not just one system, but two.
A month ago, an anonymous user of the Penny Arcade forums who claimed to be a Rare employee disclosed an overwhelming amount of information regarding an special tenth anniversary edition of GoldenEye 007 set to be released for Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade.
This special edition supposedly included, among others, the following features:
Flawless recreation of the original gameplay. The game used the original code, running on an Xbox 360.
Solid 60 frames a second.
High definition graphics with the option to switch back to the original N64 graphics any time.
Four-way online split-screen multiplayer, with the option to see what the other three players can see, even over Live.
New multiplayer maps, including the single player Dam, Depot or Frigate levels as multiplayer arenas.
According to the same source, this amazing edition never got the green light because Nintendo put pressure on Activision so they wouldn’t let Microsoft use the Bond licence.
Technically speaking, Activision doesn’t need Nintendo’s permission to do anything with Bond, but given the original release of the game and their good relationship with the Nintendo, they decided to play fair and ask first. Apparently, Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata simply said “no” to any form of GoldenEye in any console but their own.
Activision then denied the use of the licence to keep their good terms with Nintendo.
The funny thing about it is that during the bilateral negotiations between Microsoft and Nintendo, the Japanese were offered the possibility of getting the rights to release the original GoldenEye 007 for their Virtual Console in exchange of their blessing for a special edition on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade. Rumour has it they didn’t like the deal, which was, in any case, beneficial for everybody. Including their users.
So basically Nintendo wants GoldenEye. Microsoft wants GoldenEye. Rare wants GoldenEye. Activision wants GoldenEye. And players yearn for GoldenEye. But thanks to the first ones, nobody gets GoldenEye, unless Microsoft or any company without strong commercial ties with Nintendo obtains the Bond licence someday.
This wouldn’t have been the first time an insider published something as important on Penny Arcade, but there isn’t any way to prove its authenticity except for two reasons. The first is that all their information matches perfectly with the logic behind Nintendo’s announcement back in 2006 and recent comments on the cancellation of GoldenEye 007’s remake as published in the latest EGM magazine.
And the second reason is a picture that the guy uploaded.
Yes, there is a picture allegedly taken from GoldenEye 007 for the Xbox 360 online. And if anyone is already considering the possibility, no, it’s not from the Half Life mod currently in the making by fans. Whatever that picture really is, it’s something else.
Judge for yourselves.
heres the link. the news is scary eh?