We told you the story of how developer Rare felt that Xbox 360 launch title Kameo: Elements of Power should have been scrapped and redeveloped from the ground up. Well, apparently, Rare didn’t think much of arguably the most famous and successful game in their history, either.
GoldenEye 64 defined a generation of games and gamers, but you never would have known that if you were working at Rare during its development. In an interview with UK gaming magazine Edge, Rare employees revealed that during the development of the iconic shooter, confidence didn’t run high.
Originally Rare didn’t even want to touch a James Bond game, wanting instead to focus on their own intellectual properties. Studio head Mark Betteridge said,
“When Nintendo asked if we wanted to do it, we said, ‘well not really…we were trying to build our on IP, and film tie-ins meant a lot of ownership by the film company”
A dismal showing at E3 also made the development team more fearful that the game would be a “disaster,” even prompting Rare creative director George Andres to make the statement “At least we’ve got Banjo.”
The article mentioned that Rare missed the release of the movie the game was supposed to tie into, even missing the British television debut of the movie. I remember when Goldeneye 64 finally came out and thinking, “didn’t this movie come out like two years ago?” Even joking with my friends, before any of us had played the game, that it was based on an old movie that none of us really like that much to begin with. Obviously, when we actually played the game, it became our go-to four-player game (I still hate the damn proximity mines).
This story comes out on the heels of GoldenEye 64 designer Martin Hollis criticizing Activision for their plans to release a “re-imagined” version of the classic game. Hollis is fearful that Activision is only trying to make a quick buck, and doesn’t care about doing the original game justice.
“I imagine it is a business decision…This name is valuable, let’s use it. I find it hard to picture Activision’s top management being excited about the original and wanting to do it justice.”
I still remember all of the great nights that my friends and I had playing GoldenEye. It and Starfox 64 could last us through a 10 hour gaming session, no problem. To imagine that the game was so despised inside of Rare comes as a huge shock. At the time the game seemed to be perfect, and looking at it now it set up what many of the most popular shooters of today are like. The campaign mode was really just an extended practice for the multi-player — sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It was ok though, we didn’t care then, because the multi-player was so good!
To imagine that there was a chance that this game never would have been made is something that boggles my mind. What about you guys, what are your memories of GoldenEye 64? What other games did you and your friends use for your all-night game benders? Let us know in the comments.
You can relive some of your favorite James Bond gaming moments when Goldeneye 007 releases for Wii on November 2, 2010.