N.B This news broke on January 5th, but due to a cold which left me unable to eat or get out of bed for a day, I had to write this on January 6th 2022.
BREAKING NEWS: Goldeneye, my joint favourite James Bond film (it gets extra points for starring the greatest Bond in Pierce Brosnan, but loses them for Eric Serra’s woefully awful soundtrack which I would pummel him for) and one of the greatest first person shooters, which positively defined the gaming genre upon its release (only to be superseded by Halo - Combat Evolved - no never heard of it either). Goldeneye is getting a 2022 remake and is bound for the Xbox!
I thought it would be a virtual fait accompli that once the Nintendo 64 got a digital release on Switch, Nintendo will use a nice portion of that comically oversized pile of cash (complete with swimming ducks) they must have to ensure Rareware give them permission to give it to them, even in a possible sharing with Microsoft. Let’s not forget that Microsoft had a Goldeneye remake of sorts up and running in 2007. It was more or less finished too as leaked as leaked videos prove.
The rights to this game were trickier than it is for Run DMC to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time. The game was wholly made by Rare, the then second party developer for Nintendo. Nintendo funded development (most of the time - there was a time in Goldeneye’s development process where it looked so unlikely to amount to anything special that Nintendo simply withdrew funding - a fact Rare’s higher ups simply didn’t tell their staff, so - thankfully - the game continued to be made).
The rights to Goldeneye the film are owned by EON Productions, MGM/UA and Danjaq. The actor’s likenesses belong to … well, the actors. Some of which, like Gottfried John, are now tragically deceased. A problem compounded further when one considers the game’s seminal multiplayer mode includes many actors who have since passed away such as pro wrestler Harold Sakata as 1964’s Oddjob and Richard Kiel as 1977, 79 and 2004’s Jaws. By the way, the rule that anyone choosing Oddjob to face Jaws in multiplayer stands: they are still just a fundamentally awful person
Screenshots have leaked of 45 achievements for Goldeneye on a website. Judging from them, it will be more or less a straight post of the original Nintendo 64 classic rather than a release of the 2007 remake or any further one. It is interesting to speculate that at this stage, a quarter century after release (give or take a few months) that Nintendo’s stake in the title could be severely diminished now. Microsoft own the very company who made the stone cold classic. It will be the 60th anniversary of the first James Bond motion picture (Dr. No) on October 5th too. This is virtually guaranteed to go from an Agent with a Licence To Kill to a Cash Machine with a licence to print money. With no Bond film possible for the celebration (see the review of the latest, No Time To Die here), the motivation, mean and opportunity for this release are certainly there.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I love this game and the film it is based upon. Hell, I described Pierce Brosnan as my favourite James Bond in the opening paragraph. If pressed, I would guess they will sidestep having to get the actor’s likeness rights by utilising a more generic look for Bond and the remainder of the cast, much like they did in the subsequent games Agent Under Fire and Nightfire (a review of the latter is available: - a Mick Foley sequel cheap plug). However, I would be ecstatic to see my favourite Brosnan and my favourite actor ever, Sean Bean grace the game upon its eventual release on Xbox.
Speaking of, I’ve not read if this is an Xbox Series release, an Xbox One or some sort of digital exclusive. For my money, I would predict a digital-only sales strategy. Of course, it could be physical and many would enjoy having Goldeneye once again gracing their shelves. I myself have it on my shelf, not this version, the original (its me, come on now) and the Goldeneye Reloaded remake for Xbox 360 in 2011. Enjoyable, but from the moment you could not shoot the hat off the guard - relieving his bowels of their burden, I knew the game would be good (and it was) but not a patch on the classic original. It is like writing a sequel to MacBeth, quite arguably all kinds of impossible.
Whatever the case, the seminal Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64, the game which single-handedly re-defined the first-person shooter genre of video games for years is to get a re-release. On some version of the Xbox consoles and very likely this very year. I would hope like me, you simply can not wait.
Additionally, if you are in the mood for more James Bond content, we here at Robot Republic have you more than covered.
As the adage at the end of every official James Bond film promises, James Bond will return …
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