James Bond (franchise)

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James Bond
Basic Information
First-person Shooter, Third-person Shooter, RPG

The James Bond video game franchise is a series of shooter games and other genres (including role-playing and adventure games) developed and published by a variety of companies. The games center around Ian Fleming's British secret service agent, James Bond.

Video games[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

1983–1996[edit | edit source]

Though the first official Bond game was released in 1983, 1981 saw the release of Sega's 005, which was a clear knockoff of the Bond series. Naturally, the name was altered in order for Sega to avoid paying the licensing fees for 007.

Since 1983, there have been numerous video games based on the official films, Ian Fleming's novels, and even original scripts created by the developer or publisher of the game.

The video games were somewhat prosperous in the 1980s and early 1990s, featuring a mixture of styles including side-scrolling action and text adventure.

1997–2002[edit | edit source]

The popularity of the James Bond video game series didn't really take off, however, until 1997's GoldenEye 007 by Rare for the Nintendo 64. GoldenEye 007 was a first-person shooter that expanded on the film and added a multiplayer component to the game. The game received very positive reviews[1] and sold over eight million copies.[2] Subsequently, virtually every Bond video game has attempted to copy GoldenEye 007's accomplishment and features with varying degrees of success.

The next Bond game, based on the film Tomorrow Never Dies, was not developed by Rare, and featured a third-person viewpoint in contrast to GoldenEye 007's first-person perspective. When the game met muted success, the next title, The World Is Not Enough, returned to first-person. However, publisher Electronic Arts, which owned the rights to publish video games based on the Bond franchise, chose different developers for different systems - Eurocom for the Nintendo 64 and Black Ops for the PlayStation, with drastically different results. Eurocom's N64 title was released to good reviews, while Black Ops' PlayStation version met with less success. Neither game garnered the financial or critical success of GoldenEye 007, and EA finally decided to detach the games from the films.

In 2001, EA released Agent Under Fire for Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube, featuring an original storyline and lacking the likeness of then-Bond Pierce Brosnan. The game took risks by adding the new elements of "rail" shooting and driving segments to a first-person shooter; the results were mixed.

In 2002, Nightfire was released. It was developed by Eurocom for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox video game consoles. Gearbox Software developed the game for Windows, which Aspyr later re-released for the Mac. The computer versions are substantially different from the console versions, featuring different missions, a modified story line, and online play. It was published by Electronic Arts in 2002. In 2003 EA released Nightfire for the Game Boy Advance this time developed by JV Games.

2008–present[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 1999, Electronic Arts held the exclusive rights to develop games based on the official James Bond films. In 2003, MGM Interactive extended their deal with EA until 2010. However, this deal ended in September 2007 due to EA's commitment to move away from movie franchise games and focus more on internal IPs. Additionally, at least one source claims that EA's inability to develop and have a game ready to tie-into Casino Royale (2006), led to the two companies terminating their deal, as MGM stood to lose millions in licensing fees due to EA's failure.[3]

In May 2006 Activision acquired non-exclusive rights to develop and publish James Bond games; an exclusive deal with Activision took effect in September 2007.[4] It was reported by Variety that Activision's first game since acquiring the license would be a tie-in to Quantum of Solace. During an earnings report, Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision, announced that their first Bond game would be released in May 2008, the originally targeted release date of the upcoming movie.[5] However, since the movie was officially delayed to October 31, 2008, the Treyarch-developed Quantum of Solace was also moved to that date.

At E3 2010, Nintendo officially revealed GoldenEye 007, a Wii-exclusive remake of the critically acclaimed 1997 game. A month later, a leaked media release suggested that Activision had hired Bizarre Creations to work on Blood Stone, an original Bond experience written by Bruce Feirstein.[6]

Although James Bond is known for his use of the Walther PPK and Walther P99 pistols in the books and films, the video games often change the name of the guns to avoid possible trademark issues. For the games, the name of the Walther PPK usually is changed to "Wolfram PP7." The Walther P99 is also changed, once being referred to as the "Wolfram P2K" and once in Everything or Nothing as its original name, "P99." In GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, the P99 becomes the SPEC 9. The latest Bond game, Quantum of Solace, refers to the pistol by its full name of "Walther P99".

Role-playing games[edit | edit source]

A role-playing game, James Bond 007, Role-Playing in Her Majesty's Secret Service was released in 1983, by Victory Games, a branch of Avalon Hill.

Fanmade remakes[edit | edit source]

GoldenEye: Source is a total conversion mod in development using the Source engine developed by Valve Corporation for the computer game, Half-Life 2. GoldenEye: Source is based on the award winning Nintendo 64 video game, GoldenEye 007, featuring Bond. An alpha release was distributed on December 25, 2005 receiving more than 65,000 downloads in 2 weeks. A Beta release of GoldenEye: Source was scheduled for December 25, 2006, but was released on December 26, 2006.

In January 2007, it was awarded twice in the 2006 annual Moddb awards, a win in Editor's Choice[7] for the Reinvention category, and was player-voted 3rd place in the overall category Mod of the year.[8] A significant rise from the 2005 awards, which earned GoldenEye: Source 4th place in the unreleased category. On December 5, 2007, one of the developers released an unofficial patch. This patch fixes some of the bugs there are present in the first beta version. The developer team will not support this patch, and support is only available in a topic in the GoldenEye: Source forum.[9]

Future[edit | edit source]

Activision is working on a new James Bond video game project which will be based on racing. A title described as "Mario Karts meets Forza," was previously thought to be the new 007 game, but was later revealed to be Blur[10][11] developed by Bizarre Creations in Liverpool. James Bond: Blood Stone which has been described as a third-person shooter with driving elements, set to star Daniel Craig as James Bond and Joss Stone as the leading Bond girl[12] is expected to be released sometime in October 2010. At E3 2010, Nintendo and Activision announced the long-rumored remake of GoldenEye 007 for release on the Wii in 2010.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. GoldenEye 007 Reviews. gamerankings.com. Retrieved on 2006-01-29
  2. Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd. Microsoft (2002-09-24). Retrieved on 2006-05-13
  3. Bond, Superman games on the move. Retrieved on 2006-05-18
  4. Activision Acquires Bond Video Game License. Retrieved on 2006-05-03
  5. New Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and 007 coming in 2007-8. Retrieved on 2006-08-04
  6. James Bond 007: Blood Stone – revealed?. GamePron. Retrieved on 2010-07-15
  7. Editor's Choice - Mod of the year
  8. 3rd place - Mod of the year
  9. Beta 1.1h support topic
  10. http://www.blurgame.com/
  11. Chris Faylor (2009-02-11). Activision Delays James Bond Until 2010. Shacknews. Retrieved on 2009-10-30
  12. MI6.co.uk (2010-07-16). Activision Announce 'Blood Stone' Videogame. MI6.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-07-16

External Links[edit | edit source]