Fans of “GoldenEye 007” for the Nintendo 64 may have cause to celebrate. No, we’re not talking about the never-going-to-happen remaster that was teased earlier this year. This time we’re talking about something even more exciting than a video game that never got to see the light of day- trademark renewals!
Okay, so maybe a trademark renewal doesn’t sound thrilling, but the history of the Nintendo 64 first person shooter that follows the events of “GoldenEye” is already full of twists, turns, success, defeats, disappointments, and rejoicing. [Watch former 007 Pierce Brosnan play a round of the title with Jimmy Fallon here.]
Developed by Rare and published by Nintendo in 1997, the game became one of the best selling cartridges for the console, and cemented Rare as one of the world’s foremost leading game developers at the time.
In 2010, a completely different version of “GoldenEye 007” was released on the Wii. It was an effort to capitalize on the original’s success, and tie it into the current Bond branding by featuring Daniel Craig. While the game was successful- receiving ports to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3- it wasn’t the remake that fans were clamoring for. But this recent news may give good reason to be cautiously optimistic with the aforementioned trademark.
Co-founder of XboxEra.com, Nick Baker, tweeted a possible discovery he had come across:
What Baker found was that Danjaq LLC, the company that holds the copyrights and trademarks to all material related to James Bond, had filed for a trademark renewal of the electronic gaming rights to “GoldenEye.” There’s a chance that all this could be is a simple renewal in order to make sure the trademarks are up to date and not in question should anything come to pass in the future regarding “GoldenEye” as an intellectual property. Or, this could be pretty significant given that this isn’t the only piece of video game related James Bond news to come into the limelight recently.
IO Interactive announced in November of 2020 that it would be working on a new, original James Bond game. Danjaq filed their renewal for “GoldenEye” back in August of 2020.
Much of what’s happening here is just speculation, but let’s look at some of the facts. The last James Bond video game to be released was “007 Legends” in 2012. The game reviewed and sold incredibly poorly and Activision ultimately lost the rights to the franchise following that.
Bond aficionados would be quick to point out that the people in charge of Danjaq- including Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (daughter of founder Albert R. Broccoli)- are very protective of the franchise, potentially to its detriment. After the disastrous response to the last 007 game, it’s not surprising that Danjaq would safeguard the property to protect it from denigrating even further. But now, with the kind of production scale that goes into large, blockbuster video game titles, this could be a very lucrative time for Bond to return.
So even though IO Interactive announced the Bond project in November of 2020, it’s safe to say that there were talks about this in the months leading up to it. Which could fall right in line with the August application for the GoldenEye trademark renewal.
That’s not to suggest the projects are the same, just to say that perhaps Danjaq finally decided to open the floodgates on multiple projects. And as much as we might like to think that maybe the hype from the rumored “GoldenEye 007″ remake footage had something to do with it…that happened in February of 2021, a good six months after the renewal was filed.
So why does this all matter this time? Doesn’t Nintendo still have to sign-off on a “GoldenEye 007” remake? Aren’t they the ones who stopped the remaster from happening in 2008? Well, maybe not. It has often been reported over the years that Nintendo, as the original publisher of the game, would have to sign-off on the rights to release a remake of it, but that may be misinformation. After all, Nintendo didn’t have to approve the rights for Microsoft to re-release “Banjo Kazooie” despite them being the original publisher of the game and it being exclusively for the Nintendo 64. In fact, according to Nick Baker, Danjaq was holding things up:
So let’s put all the pieces together so far, along with one that hasn’t been mentioned yet- the upcoming 25th Bond film, “No Time to Die.” The latest entry in the movie franchise has been continually delayed due to COVID-19, and surely MGM and Eon Productions want to keep the hype train rolling. There’s already a new Bond game in development now for the first time in nearly a decade, and it was in the works around the same time a trademark for “GoldenEye” as an electronic game is renewed. Though it still doesn’t mean a remake of “GoldenEye 007” is a sure thing, it’s certainly the most hopeful outlook to be had in it in years.
Should more details emerge regarding a remake and/or remaster of the Nintendo 64 classic, we’ll be sure to provide updates. At the very least, we know that at least one brand-new James Bond game is coming in the future from IO Interactive.
But E3 is around the corner, and if there was ever a time for an announcement about something old becoming new again, that time is quickly approaching.