Never Say Never Again? GoldenEye 007 could had been a reality on Xbox 360


Let There Be Rock
Oct 24, 2007
Wii Online Code
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?
I was just reading an article about that: Link

Would definitely be amazing if it was released on Live with all the additions.
Even if it was coming to xboxlive, all the articles pretty clearly mention issues with licensing. There are so many different parties that have a say in the game that it may never happen.
Its kind of old now. I think Microsoft already said they're not going to have goldeneye because of too many complications.

Edit: after reading some of the stuff, it looks like Microsoft still has a good chance they could get it if they wanted. Problem is, with Nintendo and Microsoft both wanting it as classic arcade games, Activision could tried to make it an auction which would suck. But Microsoft has proven its ability to make sales for Activision, so they could decide to let Microsoft release it.

Unless I read something wrong of course, it seems like Activision basically comes down to that decision as they are the ones who hold the rights.
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Why can't they just say ok we both can have the game in the orginal way it was intended no special graphics or online just the way it was ment to be played on old school n64 standards.

That way Xbox owners and Wii owners alike would be happy and play the game.
I like the upgraded graphics. In reality the graphics were piss poor. Everything was really blurry. I used to have problems seeing things sometimes because I would get confused. The graphic "refinement" really makes it worth getting. But not really for multiplayer for me, but to replay the single player campaign. I really liked the mission that shows in the screen shots, it was one of my favorites.
[fanboy]I seriously think Rare should of consulted Nintendo users before selling their soul. I loved all their games and it hasn't been the same since they switched to Microsoft. They need to be a Nintendo-inspired company just on solid fact that their games are just so much more qualitative on it.[/fanboy]
If i was Activision i would honestly just say TOO BAD...
I would put the license out to both companies and say have at it... its my Name i Own it, i make money off both of them, both of them are to be made...

so if MS wants its goldeneye they have to give nintendo back theres... simple as that... no one has to sell anything..

but you have give them both the option too and they can stop crying... Its not there call...

The gaming world is as bad as politics...
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T3kNi9e said:
Don't think MS would care too much if Nintendo sold it also on VC since Xbox version would be better.
Uh no... From what ive heard, Nintendo wants to release the game exactly the way it was. While Xbox is upgrading the graphics, adding online and achievements... So yeah, I guess Nintendo's would be better...
T3kNi9e said:
Uh no... From what ive heard, Nintendo wants to release the game exactly the way it was. While Xbox is upgrading the graphics, adding online and achievements... So yeah, I guess Nintendo's would be better...

Its a Retro Game now... it sells because of that... slightly upgrading the graphics and making online play to a game that was made over 10 years ago isnt going to make it a awsome game..

people are going to buy it for nostalgia reasons, because it was an awsome FPS and it was the first really well made multi player death match setup... its still a 10 year old game though...

Just because xbox redoes it wont make it cool, they didnt even exsist when this game was made...

From now on your the last person to call anyone else a fanboy... you need to just tattoo i love Xbox on your arse and get it over with...
I do love my xbox, but I aint biased and I know whats good and whats not good. So if I get to pick either the same exact Goldeneye or an updated one, yet the still game, im gonna pick updated graphics. Thats like decided over color tv vs an old black and white TV, its just logical.

Don't try to act like the things I say its false because I speak only in facts. Besides saying that it would be better on the xbox was my opinion so why the hell get bent out of shape about it. How about instead of calling me a fanboy because of my opinion of Xbox's Arcade version over Nintendo's VC you accept it and move on. You quoted me as if what I said was not true.