The Rebirth and Death of GoldenEye

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posted 5/20/2008 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
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Fans grew more hopeful as more information leaked out, and events came to a head in early 2008.  Based on information gathered from blogs and mainstream game journalists, I’ve constructed a timeline of GoldenEye’s supposed resurrection.  Keep in mind that none of this information was ever officially verified by Microsoft or Rare.  That said, the evidence is pretty compelling, and corroborated by numerous sources.  Below you’ll see how the serpentine sequence of events unfolded, with all of the sources linked in the entries.

Timeline of events:

November 26th 2006—Reginald Fils-Aime, COO of Nintendo of America, is interviewed by MTV’s Stephen Totilo.  Reggie comments: "Would I love to see [GoldenEye] on virtual console? Absolutely. But there are a lot of issues there. Suffice it to say we would love to see it, so we're exploring all the rights issues."  Nothing ever comes of these statements, and the interview is largely forgotten by the gaming community.  Joystiq reports on the interview, which has since been removed from the MTV website. 

November 28th 2007—A man calling himself Oddjaw2 starts a thread on the Penny Arcade forums, posting information about a full-fledged GoldenEye remake for Xbox Live Arcade, and includes a screenshot from the Facility level.  He says that he is a developer at Rare, and explains the origin of the project and why it was cancelled.  He makes some strong and surprising allegations; supposedly Reggie Fils-Aime was enthusiastic about the project, knowing how much it would mean to American gamers, but Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata shot it down. 

Despite having no legal power in the decision, Iwata supposedly threatened Activison with loss of Nintendo licensing, which was enough to make them pull out and thus kill the whole project.  Oddjaw2 alleges that if Nintendo had cooperated, Rare would have allowed GoldenEye to be released on the Wii’s Virtual Console, in addition to their other N64 games like Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini and Banjo Kazooie.

Oddjaw2 seems frustrated that Nintendo blocked the release of the project, which was near completion, seemingly out of pride and arrogance.  Oddjaw2 is ridiculed by some forum posters, and after challenging some of the statements made in other posts, he leaves the thread.  The other posters debate the validity of the info and the screenshots, making comparisons to the GoldenEye Source mod for Half Life 2.  The thread continues for six pages before being locked by a moderator. 

Oddjaw’s screenshot is presented below:

 

January 9th 2008Joystiq and Kotaku report a rumor that GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie and possibly other Rare games will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade.

 January 11th 2008— the rumor reappears in Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM says that the Xbox Live Arcade version of GoldenEye is not a simple port but a remake, with enhanced graphics and Xbox Live supported multiplayer.  Unfortunately, financial disagreements between Nintendo and Microsoft killed the project.  1UP posts on the story, also implicating Nintendo in the death of the project.  They encourage readers to tell Microsoft and Nintendo how much they want the remake to be released.  Joystiq and Kotaku report the same news two days later on the 13th. 

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