GoldenEye 007 Re-Release Was Initially Planned For 2015 But Licensing Issues Got In The Way

Back in January, a list of achievements was picked up by a tracking website, sparking rumours of a GoldenEye 007 re-release of some kind. Over the next seven months, we'd get bits and pieces of information, but nothing concrete. However, the relaunch was finally revealed during this month's Nintendo Direct. The game would be added to Nintendo Switch online's N64 library and would also be available in 4K on Xbox Game Pass.

It certainly took its time, and as speculated, Rare boss Craig Duncan revealed that it was primarily due to licensing issues. Considering how long the James Bond IP and GoldenEye 007 have been around, licenses would have changed hands a number of times. This means Rare would have had to have a lot of conversations, which would take a lot of time – give or take seven years.

"To be honest, it took us longer than I wanted it to," said Duncan during a GI Live panel (thanks, VGC). "We tried to get it lined up for when we did Rare Replay back in 2015, which I guess was Rare’s 30th anniversary.

"As you can imagine, things involving licences and published games just have complexity. So my answer to your question is there were lots of conversations, lots of conversations with our friends at Nintendo, the folks at MGM, the folks at Xbox, and we just kept talking until we made it happen. We made it happen, so I’m proud of that.”

Of course, these licensing issues weren't the only reason why it took so long to announce the relaunch. As with everything, the Covid-19 pandemic must be taken into account as it surely hindered the progress of the team in having the required conversations, as well as any back-end work.

According to Jeff Grubb, another reason the announcement was delayed was due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. “Goldeneye is still in limbo because of the war. 1 v 100's team lead left Microsoft. I don't know what that means for the game,” he replied to a query about the game on Twitter in July. However, neither Rare nor Microsoft have officially stated this reason.

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