A playable build of the Xbox 360 remaster of GoldenEye 007, which was cancelled in 2008 shortly before being finished, has leaked online. The game, which can be played on PC via unofficial emulators, never saw the light of day since Nintendo and Microsoft were unable to reach an agreement.
Last month, a full playthrough appeared on YouTube with improved graphics and 60 frame-per-second gameplay. A fan remake powered by Unreal Engine 4, titled GoldenEye 25, was reportedly in development and scheduled for a 2022 release, but the project was scrapped last year.
The nearly completed ROM of the remaster is now being distributed on file sharing sites. This the first time that fans have had access to the remaster since a UK magazine revealed its existence in 2008. The remaster allows players to alternate between HD converted graphics and the original N64 visuals. Several features, however, are not available to play, including the online multiplayer mode, leaderboards for speedruns and achievements.
According to GoldenEye composer Grant Kirkhope, the Xbox remaster was cancelled after all the parties involved failed to reach a consensus. “The main reason it didn’t happen was because there were too many stakeholders. Microsoft, Nintendo and EON [owners of the Bond license] could never agree on terms, and that’s before you even start to consider getting all the original movie actors to agree to have their likenesses used again.”
In 2015, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that it was unlikely that the Goldeneye project would be resurrected, tweeting, “GoldenEye rights are so challenging, looked at this many times. Lots of different parties to work with, we’ve always given up.”
Despite GoldenEye’s cancellation, Microsoft did release a remastered version of Perfect Dark for Xbox 360 in 2010. The game, which was considered a spiritual successor to the 1997’s GoldenEye 007, included weapons from GoldenEye 007 as well as two new control set-ups, entitled Spartan and Duty Calls, based on the Halo and Call of Duty first-person shooter series.
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Mark Lugris is a Contributing Writer at TheGamer. After graduating from the University of Connecticut, he’s worked as a lifestyle and technology writer and editor for the past twenty years in Boston, Madrid and Zurich. Now, he’s chosen the less stressful life of freelance writing at home with his dog, where he can focus on his pop culture passions like film, television, games and sports.
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