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Developers Break Their Silence On GoldenEye Remaster

GoldenEye 007 is, in the world of video game remasters, a white whale. Lots of fans of the game have wanted to see an upgraded version of it, or even a true remake, for years. Sadly, as the James Bond license shuffled around between different parties, the chances of such a remaster happening became less likely. Even more heartbreaking: GoldenEye fans learned recently that an Xbox 360 update had indeed been in the works, but it never got to see the light of day.


Now some of the developers on that remaster project are speaking out, and you might be surprised at what they're saying.

In an interview with Ars Technica, two members of Rare's GoldenEye remaster team – Ross Bury and Mark Edmonds — dished on how far the project got. Quite amazingly, those working on the more modernized version of GoldenEye got started before they'd even received the go-ahead from either Nintendo or the holder of the Bond license at the time, Activision. Regardless, the team did some impressive work, upgrading character models and textures while trying to keep the general feel of the original game intact. Edmonds even talked up a feature Rare developed to keep split-screen multiplayer working as usual, even as friends played one another over Xbox Live.


"The great thing is," he said, "it would have allowed groups of friends who in the '90s had gone round to each other's houses and huddled around a single TV, but had now maybe 'grown up' (is that possible for gamers?), got jobs in other parts of the country/world and moved apart, to re-experience the same fun times from the past, but now over the Internet."

The game reportedly got very far along, with both Bury and Edmonds agreeing there were roughly 90 bugs left to squash before it could ship. Sadly, the GoldenEye remaster just wasn't meant to be in the end. The folks working on the game at Rare thought they'd checked every required box and talked to every important person, but they apparently missed a very crucial contact. Nintendo had told Rare the remaster was clear for takeoff, but those passing that message along had failed to run the idea by a still-unknown Nintendo executive.

"I believe I was told his response went along the lines of, 'There is no way a Nintendo game is coming out on a Microsoft console,'" Bury told Ars Technica. And just like that, the GoldenEye remaster was stopped dead in its tracks.

As of now, it doesn't appear likely this enhanced version of GoldenEye will get a second chance at life. You can take a look at what the game looked like, though, and if you're resourceful, you might even be able to download an emulator friendly version of it. At the very least, IO Interactive is working on a brand new James Bond experience, and if anyone knows how to make a spy game, it's surely the developers behind Hitman. Only time will tell if Project 007 can hold a candle to the classic N64 title that came before it.