This past weekend, beta tester Graslu00 shared a lengthy video demonstrating what Rare’s canceled GoldenEye 007 remaster for Xbox Live Arcade looked like in action. James Bond fans who liked what they saw can now check the game out for themselves, as a near-final build of the legendary title has leaked on various file-sharing sites. While we will not be posting a direct link to the ROM here (it’s easy enough to find, actually), we will say that it runs quite well on popular Xbox 360 emulator Xenia.
According to Grant Kirkhope, the composer behind the soundtracks for GoldenEye 007 and other iconic Rare titles such as Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007’s Xbox Live Arcade remaster never managed to materialize due to the amount of license holders.
“The main reason it didn’t happen was because there were too many stakeholders,” he said in a statement sent to VGC. “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.”
“To be fair, I kind of wished that the differences got sorted out, but obviously there’s the licensing issue for Bond, even if it’s something that’s already come out,” echoed Rare senior software engineer Nick Burton in a separate interview. “It’s incredibly hard to solve because there’s so many licence holders involved. You’ve got the guys that own the license to the gaming rights now, the guys that have the licence to Bond as an IP, and there are umpteen licensees. Me, just personally, I thought, God, that’s a difficult problem to solve.”
Graslu00 and other GoldenEye 007 fans have been sharing plenty of screenshots and other media from the remaster, some of which you can check out below. Apparently, players can instantaneously switch between the original and the remake’s modern graphics with the press of a button, just like 343 Industries’ Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2: Anniversary remasters.
…so it leaked. pic.twitter.com/2oMFW00frP— LuigiBlood (@LuigiBlood) February 3, 2021
People are making mods for GE XBLA already, this is just like early 00's gameshark codes! pic.twitter.com/tZFim55ftB— Graslu00 (@Graslu00) February 3, 2021