Cancelled GoldenEye 007 XBLA Remaster Revealed In New Gameplay (VIDEO)
It’s been well over two decades since GoldenEye 007 first released for Nintendo 64, and nostalgic players have been clamoring for a re-release over the many years since. In the last several years, new details and unofficial leaks have suggested fans’ wishes were very nearly fulfilled back in 2007 following rumors of an apparent remaster built for Xbox Live Arcade. Flip forward to 2021 and it appears progress on the GoldenEye 007 remaster was actually extremely far along, as evidenced by an expansive two-hour gameplay showcase that recently surfaced online.
Website GoldenEye Dossier first unveiled the lengthy footage, showing off the remaster’s entire campaign and multiplayer captured at 60 FPS and in 4K resolution. By the looks of things, the game runs nearly identically to the original Rare-developed title, but with the addition of a modern widescreen aspect ratio and greatly upgraded textures. Though the XBLA remaster would have also included high-definition gameplay (likely the 1080p standard of the era), the 4K footage shown in the video was enabled through the use of an Xbox 360 emulator.
Heavily speculated for over a decade, the GoldenEye 007 XBLA remaster has been a particularly poor-kept secret, with leaked details and even screenshots abound as far back as 2008. Several features were rumored for the release, including four-way online multiplayer, use of the original N64 game’s code, as well as a switchable classic/remastered graphics mode. While the remaster is believed to have nearly completed development in 2007, licensing issues between Nintendo, Rare, and then-rights holder Activision is ultimately what kept it from seeing the light of day.
“It’s squarely in the license holders’ courts. It’s a shame. It’s kind of locked in this no man’s land,” Former Rare software engineer Nick Burton said in a 2008 interview with Videogamer. “It’s just what happens legally sometimes. Not necessarily with games, but you see it with music and films. Things get locked in this legal limbo. Even most of the parties involved, probably all the parties involved want to solve it. It’s such a complex issue.”
— Graslu00 (@Graslu00) January 30, 2021
In addition to two hours of new GoldenEye 007 gameplay, video uploader Graslu00 also provided details regarding how this leak came about. Responding to fans’ questions in the video description, the YouTuber revealed they “can’t say” how the GoldenEye 007 remaster was received for anonymity purposes, only that it wasn’t obtained in any recent software leaks. With that said, Graslu00 admitted they’ve had knowledge about other game builds “for years,” suggesting “it was just a matter of time” before they got their hands on one.
Though the GoldenEye remaster has circulated privately for the better part of 15 years, Graslu00 teased one of these builds is planned to be publicly released sometime in 2021 by an undisclosed third party. However, they stressed that it would be a wholly unauthorized release, with any hope of an official version said to currently reside with the chief holder of the James Bond IP, Danjaq LLC. “Nintendo did not cancel this, they’re not the owners of the license,” Graslu00 explained. “If you want GE back, ask the IP holders, not gaming companies.”
Keep in mind GOLDENEYE XBLA will never be officially released unless something changes in the minds of Danjaq (not Nintendo, not Rare, not Activision). There’s a possibility that people may have access to it *somehow* this year, but then again… “patience is the key”.
— The GoldenEye Dossier (@gedossier007) January 30, 2021
When the original N64 version was released, GoldenEye 007 was developed by Rare, with the game’s publishing rights in the hands of Nintendo. In the years since, several other companies have obtained gaming rights to James Bond, including EA, Activision, and most recently, Hitman developer IO Interactive. With the apparent expiration of Nintendo’s copyright back in 2017, fewer hurdles would seem to stand in the way of a remaster finally releasing. However, fans probably shouldn’t wait up considering 007 producers aren’t exactly fond of past games in the series.
What do you think? Would you love to see this GoldenEye 007 remaster see the light of day, or do you feel that a new top-to-bottom remake would need to happen nowadays? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.