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Activision looks to be readying a new James Bond game. Expect a studio closure within the year

Time for another developer to start worrying then. As well we know, in these post-Goldeneye days the Bond license is a poison chalice on a par with swigging arsenic from a mug sculpted from solid adder bile. Bringing down the reputation of many a fine developer, and bringing about the end of one or two, the Bond franchise is not a franchise you want to be involved in. Every game claims to be a return to N64 form. Every one unfailingly fails to be.

And now, according to details of Activision's Comic Con invitation, another developer might have a crosshair on its head, as a new Bond game may be set for revelation at this month's San Diego event. So let's weigh up the options for who might be unfortunate enough to be working on this thing.

1. Raven Software

Raven has made a whole stack of good games over the years. Soldier of Fortune, Jedi Outcast, Quake 4, my beloved Singularity... They're a decent little studio. Unfortunately, they'e also owned by Activision now, and Activision gave Singularity no support whatsoever, sending of one of the best console FPS of 2010 out to die. And now Raven is strongly rumoured to be working on a third-person stealth/action Bond game.

You know how Activision gave Bizarre Creations' Blur no support whatsoever, sending one of the best console racers of 2010 out to die, and then put Bizarre on the Bond license before outright killing the studio? Yeah, that was crap. I really hope Raven isn't working on a Bond game any more.

2. Eurocom

To be honest, this is probably the most likely option. Eurocom made Activision's not-actually-a-remake-though-we'll-pretend-it-is Goldeneye remake for the Wii last year, and there's a good chance it might be porting said game to the HD consoles. Activision registered several "Goldeneye Reloaded" related URLs recently, so I reckon some manner of re-do is on the way. Expect Activision to ride on the publicity coat-tails of the aborted XBLA port of the N64 Goldeneye with this one, even though the two games are not related in any way.

Eurocom are probably fairly safe, assuming it's just a port. That won't be anything like as costly as a major new project, though the fact that the Wii Goldeneye looks to be getting a port at all would imply that Acti has realised that a Wii-exclusive FPS is financially not a great idea at all. Or knew all along, and has just got out of an exclusivity contract with Nintendo. Either way, there could be a bit of pressure for this to be a success. The Bond license has been flailing pretty hard in terms of sales in recent years, and Activision might well be playing on the Goldeneye name under  the perception that it's a much-needed safe bet.

3. Some random port-monkeys

If however, Goldeneye Reloaded does turn out to be a real port of the real Goldeneye (which is unbelievably unlikely, requiring as it would some licensing contract gymnastics on a par with an Olympic-standard 14-year-old Russian girl. And no-one wants to see Bobby Kotick in a leotard), then expect a jobbing port crew to knock it out. There's no way Microsoft are letting Activision use Rare, and there's no way Microsoft are letting Activision use its part-finished Goldeneye XBLA port from a few years ago.

And being a jobbing port crew, if the game fails, expect the dev team to be taken outside, ritually disembowelled, and then shot in the face. One at a time, each man forced to watch his comrades die, until only one is left. Briefly left.

So what do you reckon? What's most likely and who's most in danger? Place bets now!

July 08, 2011

23 comments

  • IceBlueKirby - July 10, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    Part of me wants to say "DEAR LORD NO DON'T KILL RAVEN" but another part of me thinks that Raven is the only studio capable of making a decent Bond game so...I'm not sure what to think. I think the most likely thing to happen is a port of the Wii Goldeneye, so there's probably nothing to worry about.
  • PReNDeL21 - July 10, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    @QWERTYCommander Now that I think about it, what IS Neversoft up to? I haven't heard from them (or FreeStyle for that matter) since Guitar and DJ Hero got cancelled.
  • blakebeauchamp - July 8, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    Honestly the whole bond franchise smells of studio death. When Activision wants a studio gone they can make them develop a bond game. Even if the game is executed well, the shitty past (for the most part) of the franchise is sure to weave enough doubt into people's minds to stop them from giving it a second thought. But hey, that's just me.
  • D0CCON - July 8, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    I love Singularity regardless of what Acti thinks so keep Raven out of this!!!
  • Kilburn474 - July 8, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    Goldeneye for the Wii wasn't as shitty as everyone claims it to be. I have a feeling all the ridiculously negative reviews were because of nostalgia goggles and people not realizing there are more options for controls. Which has become a disturbing trend in reviews these days. Two notable examples are X-play (I believe) giving Epic Mickey a lowered score because there was no "Z-Targeting" style system. But it did. Just hold C if i recall correctly. Then we have multiple reviewers claiming that they HAD to hold down L in Zelda OoT 3D. Which again, is not the case. One quick look at the options and you can see the way to change it from "Hold" to "Switch". But I digress. The new Goldeneye is essentially Call of Duty with a James Bond skin slapped on it. I for one am glad they're porting it to HD systems. Maybe someone will actually buy the game now.
  • sid440 - July 8, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    Its not that we need another bond game, activision just needs an excuse to close a studio, or they have a bond fetish.
  • TriforcePlayer - July 8, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    Raven should be making X-Men Legends 3.
  • Baron164 - July 8, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    Activision is slowly running out of Studios, unless they start making new studios. I just feel bad for the studio that gets stuck making it. It would probably end up being an ok game but won't sell well and Activision will use that as an excuse to close the studio.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - July 8, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Goldeneye was a great game, I want Eurocom to make an HD version so more people can play it truthfully.
  • mijetman - July 8, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    What if it was Infinity Ward? Actvision can put "From the makes of Modern Warfare" on the box and humiliate the team who publicly slandered the boss.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 8, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    @QWERTYCommander I never thought about Neversoft, that could also be one.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 8, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    As soon as I saw the headline I thought Oh God Raven is fucked! Why would Activision even release another Bond game, anyway? I mean, is there a huge demand for a new one? I think Bobby Kotick is just hungry for more souls to collect.
  • QWERTYCommander - July 8, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    It's probably Neversoft. Seriously, they only had 2 franchises supporting them: Tony Hawk and Guitar hero (3 onward). And guess what? Guitar Hero was put to a halt, and Tony Hawk got sold off to Robomodo (and died shortly after). GUN went absolutely nowhere, and so did the games they made before THPS1.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - July 8, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Shit... Raven was my first thought on this too.
  • Shanetexas - July 8, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    OH GOD THAT PICTURE OF JAMES BOND CANNOT BE REAL THAT IS NOT A HUMAN BEING
  • db1331 - July 8, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    It just doesn't make sense. The bond franchise should be the easiest thing in the world to turn into an awesome game, yet time and time again developers fail to deliver. Bond is all about cool gadgets, gunfights, explosions, expensive cars, and hot women, and they can't even make that into a fun game? I think the only developer on the planet that could announce they were doing a Bond game and not have me immediately write it off would be Rocksteady. They did what everyone thought was impossible with Arkham Asylum and made not just a good but a near-flawless super hero game. If they got the Bond license and put the same amount of care and attention to detail into it as they are the Batman games, they would certainly have my attention.
  • Sketchy - July 8, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Ugh. This makes me scared for every developer working under Activision's ignorance. At least Bungie was smart enough to only make a game contract with them. Activision has no killing power there.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - July 8, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Great article title Mr. Houghton, it made me laugh because it is so tragically true. Please don't be Raven.
  • ibeberger - July 8, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Who said they didn't want to see Bobby Kotick in a leotard? BLASPHEMY!
  • bass88 - July 8, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    Also, "Port-Monkeys", David. Are you just being racist or trying to take the word back? Is case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm referencing the "porch-monkeys" from Clerks II.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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