James Bond in video games

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James Bond
007 logo.svg
The official game logo of James Bond (007)
Genres First-person shooter
Third-person shooter
Racing game
Role-playing game
Publishers Parker Brothers
Mindscape
Domark
Nintendo
Electronic Arts (1999-2006)
Activision (2007-13)

The James Bond video game franchise is a series of shooter games and games of other genres (including role-playing and adventure games) spun off from the James Bond film series developed and published by a variety of companies. The games centre around Ian Fleming's fictional British MI6 agent, James Bond.

Video games[edit]

007 Legends GoldenEye 007 Reloaded Blood Stone (video game) GoldenEye 007 (2010 video game) Quantum of Solace (video game) GoldenEye: Source From Russia With Love (video game) GoldenEye: Rogue Agent James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing James Bond 007: Nightfire Agent under fire 007 Racing The World Is Not Enough (video game) Tomorrow Never Dies (video game) James Bond 007 (1997 video game) GoldenEye 007 (1997 video game) James Bond 007: The Duel James Bond Jr. Operation Stealth The Spy Who Loved Me (video game) Licence to Kill (video game) Live and Let Die (video game) The Living Daylights (computer game) James Bond 007: Goldfinger A View to a Kill (video game) James Bond 007 (1983 video game)

1983–96[edit]

The first official Bond video game, James Bond 007, was released in 1983 by Parker Brothers.

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 profitable in the 1980s and early 1990s, featuring a mixture of styles including side-scrolling action and text adventure.

1997–2006[edit]

The popularity of the James Bond video-game series did not rise quickly, 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, almost every Bond video game has attempted to copy GoldenEye 007's accomplishment and features with varying degrees of success.

The next Bond game, 1999's Tomorrow Never Dies, based on the film released two years prior, was the first released by Electronic Arts. Developed by Black Ops, unlike GoldenEye 007, it was a third-person shooter only released on PlayStation. Despite the game's success, it received mixed reviews. the next title, 2000's The World Is Not Enough game, 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, and the N64 version getting better reviews. Both versions were critical and commercial successes, albeit not in the same level of GoldenEye 007, and EA encouraged developers to create future Bond games unrelated to any of 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 actor Pierce Brosnan. The game took risks by adding the new elements of "rail" shooting and driving segments to a first-person shooter. The game has sold nearly 5 million copies since its release, making it the second-most successful game in the franchise, while only receiving mixed reviews. There are no differences between the console versions.

In 2002, Nightfire was released. It was developed by Eurocom for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox consoles, with a PC port by Gearbox Software and a Mac port by Aspyr. The computer versions are substantially different from the console versions, featuring different missions, a modified story line, and online play. In 2003, the game also had a Game Boy Advance version by JV Games, which also differs from both the console versions and PC versions.

In 2004, EA released Everything or Nothing, developed by EA Redwood, for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox. Unlike the two previous installments, Everything or Nothing is a third-person shooter with driving missions, and it stars the voices and likenesses of Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe and John Cleese, among others. It was written by the scriptwriter of GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies, screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, with a plot connected to the Roger Moore Bond film A View to a Kill. It was released to mostly positive reviews, the game also had a Game Boy Advance version by JV Games, which differs from the console versions.

Later that year, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was released on the same platforms with the expectation of the Game Boy Advance version. A first-person shooter loosely connected to the Bond franchise a spin-off, it stars a former MI6 spy known as "GoldenEye", who works for Auric Goldfinger against Dr. Julius No. The game was panned for its misleading title and poor storyline. the game was released on PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and Nintendo DS.

2005 saw the release of From Russia With Love, based on the film of the same name. It starred Sean Connery once again as James Bond, and the other characters had the same likeness of the original cast. The game is a third-person shooter in the same style as Everything or Nothing, with expansions in the story and certain details changed (such as trading SPECTRE for OCTOPUS, due to legal problems). The game received positive reviews, and was released on Gamecube, Xbox, PS2 and PSP.

Electronic Arts announced in 2006 a game based on then-upcoming Casino Royale,[3][4] but it ended up being cancelled, because it would not be ready by the film's release in November. This fact, which would lead MGM to lose millions in licensing fees, along with EA's commitment to move away from movie franchise games and focus more on internal IPs, led the company to abandon the Bond franchise in May 2006.[5]

2007–13[edit]

Shortly after Electronic Arts abandoned the license, in May 2006, Activision acquired non-exclusive rights to develop and publish James Bond games, which were to become exclusive in 2007.[6] Activision's first game was a tie-in to Quantum of Solace. Quantum of Solace: The Game, which also included elements from Casino Royale, was released on 31 October 2008. it was released on PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, Wii and DS. The game received mixed reviews, with the PS2 version receiving the best reviews.[7]

At E3 2010, Nintendo officially revealed GoldenEye 007, a Wii-exclusive remake of the critically acclaimed 1997 game. Developed by Eurocom, using their Dead Space: Extraction game engine, the game updated the story of the movie, with a script by Bruce Feirstein and the current Bond actor Daniel Craig as 007.,[8] it received positive reviews. A month later, a leaked media release suggested that Activision had hired Bizarre Creations to work on 007: Blood Stone, an original Bond experience written by Bruce Feirstein. Both games were released on November 2010. 'Blood Stone' was released for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and DS, with mixed-to-positive reviews. In December 2010, a video (later backed up by Activision) and some screenshots from a new Bond game were leaked, identified as developed by Raven Software. This new game was thought to be set for release in 2011, but Activision never commented on any connection or status of that apparent title. In 2011 Activision ported the new GoldenEye 007 (featuring Daniel Craig's likeness and voice even though the film and original game featured Brosnan) to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Entitled GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, it presents an HD remastering of the original Nintendo Wii shooter from the previous year.

On 19 April 2012, Activision announced plans for a new game titled "007 Legends" to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond film franchise.[9] The game has been described as a "greatest hits compilation",[9] retelling six film narratives with an overarching storyline to connect them together. Activision did not comment on which film stories would be included in the game, but announced that the gameplay mechanics would return to the first-person shooter after 007: Blood Stone experimented with the third-person perspective suggesting that this had been the case due to the mixed reviews the game in question had received.[9] On 21 May 2012, Activision released the first trailer for 007: Legends. Thereafter, the missions are revealed to be based upon Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker. On 9 November 2012, Activision added the last mission to the game, released as a downloadable content, which was definitely based on Skyfall. The game received negative reviews from several reviewers. Eurocom has since closed down.[10][11]

On 4 January 2013, Activision and Steam's online stores quietly removed online copies and pages for Quantum of Solace, 007: Blood Stone, and 007 Legends without explanation or warning.

On 20 February 2013, Activision confirmed that in 2013 it would be backing away from licensed games in a statement though not confirmed, The 007 game license may have been revoked - The statement reads "Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues—this is an ongoing process. In 2013, we expect to release fewer games based on license properties and as a result are realigning our structure to better reflect the market opportunities and our slate. Approximately, 30 full-time employees have been impacted globally, which represents approximately one half of one percent of Activision Blizzard's employee population. We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services"

2014–present[edit]

On 7 January 2014, president and co-founder of Telltale Games Kevin Bruner has expressed an interest in making a future James Bond game if he were ever afforded the chance. He stated that "I'm a giant James Bond fan and I'm always frustrated by games that make him a mass murderer." when he was asked which license he'd adapt next if money and licensing hurdles were not a factor. "He's a super-spy, and that's a different skillset. The films make him less of a mass murderer, and there's not much killing in the books – more spying and intrigue."[12]

Cancelled games[edit]

Film based games[edit]

Octopussy[edit]

Shortly after James Bond 007 video game was released in 1983 by Parker Brothers, another video game was announced that was called Octopussy, based on the film of the same name. The game was planned for release on the Atari 2600 System, Mattel Intellivision, and compatabile systems. Set for release in the summer of 1983, it was cancelled shortly after it was announced by Parker Brothers.[13]

GoldenEye 007[edit]

A racing version of GoldenEye 007 was going to be released the same year for the ill fated Virtual Boy. Only a screenshot was released on the internet, but the game was later cancelled.[14][15][16]

Related, a revamped version of the Nintendo 64 game by Rare was planned for release for Xbox Live Arcade on 27 February 2008, but due to financial disagreement between Microsoft and Nintendo corporations, the project has faded out. As of January 2014 Microsoft has made no comment on the idea of Rareware's GoldenEye 007 being released on XBLA.

Tomorrow Never Dies: The Mission Continues[edit]

The original VHS release of Tomorrow Never Dies featured a brief trailer with Desmond Llewelyn which highlighted a game that would "start where the film ends".[17] Footage shows Bond skiing, scuba diving and driving in third person and on a first-person shooting mission.[18] The game was to come out on PlayStation and PC in the fall of 1998 and was being made by MGM Interactive, not EA; EA was not involved in Bond until November of that year.[19]

A Tomorrow Never Dies game was finally released on 16 November 1999, distributed by EA, but with notable differences from the 1998 attempt. The game was a third-person shooter with the scuba diving level nowhere to be found. But perhaps the most glaring difference was the fact that the story now followed the plot of the film, not the continuation that had been promised.

A level in the game sees Bond skiing down a mountain and killing a Japanese terrorist named Sotoshi Isagura (who had featured very briefly in the film), while on another stage Bond has a driving mission in Switzerland. These were not from the film and may have survived from the 'continuation' story.

The World Is Not Enough[edit]

A port of The World Is Not Enough for the PC and PlayStation 2 version was cancelled in favor for 007: Agent Under Fire.[20]

Casino Royale[edit]

Based on the film of the same name where Daniel Craig starred as Bond and was going to give his voice and likeness in the video game. It was set to release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. The game was 15% developed when the project was cancelled as Electronic Arts would not finish it by the film's release in November 2006. Later, unfinished development screenshots from the Venice level were uncovered.[5][21][22]

Original games[edit]

007 Racing sequel[edit]

A PlayStation 2 sequel to 007 Racing was rumoured to be in development.[23]

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent sequel[edit]

A sequel to 2004's GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was originally planned but scrapped due to poor sales and reviews. The game's ending heavily suggested a sequel as well. According to various sources, the sequel would have included vehicles and a longer story mode. On the EA website for GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, a forum with many questions about what fans wanted to see in the next game when it was available. Rogue Agent's engine for the DS was used as a concept for a version of Halo: Combat Evolved for Nintendo's handheld (informally called Halo DS), but didn't get past verification, despite a playable demo being made.

Phoenix Rising[edit]

The game was originally meant to be released in 2005, set to star Pierce Brosnan as James Bond 007. Nothing was ever revealed about the plot but the rumours said that it was a follow up to Nightfire with the gameplay elements of Everything or Nothing video game. First, the title was going to be used for Nightfire but later was pushed back for the 2005 Bond game that never saw the light of the day and was switched into Sean Connery's From Russia With Love video game adaption when Brosnan officially announced that he was stepping down from the role.[24]

Untitled Raven Software Bond game[edit]

The sequel to James Bond 007: Blood Stone was not announced officially. It was set to star Daniel Craig as Bond in an original storyline developed by both Bizzare Creations and Raven Software studios. However, it was cancelled in late 2009. Only some screenshots were hit on the internet and many cancelled main-title sequences are shown, rumours say that the plot was involved with diamond smugglers, or with oil-problem. Either the game was cancelled or delayed as the next James Bond game, titled 007 Legends, was released in October 2012.

Other games[edit]

Role-playing games[edit]

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.

Mobile and Smartphone Games[edit]

Since 2002, games featuring the Bond character and the 007 trademark have been published and distributed on mobile phones. The first two were being based on action sequences from Die Another Day, one of them was titled Hover Chase and the other was Ice Racer. Both were published by Vodafone.

In 2006, when the franchise was rebooted, Sony Online Entertainment released a side-scroll action game based on Casino Royale, which followed the storyline closely to that of the film's. In 2008, two games were developed and produced by the same firm to promote the release of Quantum of Solace, one of them was a tie-in based on the motion picture itself, featuring similar gameplay to its predecessor, and the other one was an arcade game called Top Agent. With the exception of the arcade game, the film tie-ins were developed by Glu Mobile.

In 2014, it was announced that MGM Interactive was going to work with Glu Mobile, that is no stranger to the Bond saga, and produce a game in the franchise specialized for smartphones and tablets.[25]

Fanmade remakes[edit]

GoldenEye: Source is a total conversion mod 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. A 5th beta release was released on 25 December 2010.

In 2013, fans of the original Nightfire began porting the PC version to Source engine,[26] planning to release it on Steam as Nightfire: Source.[27]

Actors portraying James Bond in the video games[edit]

The actors listed below have provided the likeness of Bond in the 007 video-game series. However, they have not all provided voice work. The people who have voiced the character, filling the vocals of the official actors, were Adam Blackwood, Maxwell Caulfield and Timothy Watson. Jason Carter also voiced 007 but in a non-Bond game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. The classic games only provided the real actors' footage on the cover for whatever era the franchise was in, such as Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. The first voiceover performance has been started from Tomorrow Never Dies video game, by Adam Blackwood.

Pierce Brosnan[edit]

Pierce Brosnan, the 5th official actor to portray Bond in the film series, lent his likeness extensively, appearing in GoldenEye 007, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, 007 Racing and NightFire. However, he did not voice the character until Everything or Nothing. A canceled video game called Phoenix Rising was going to feature Pierce Brosnan as Bond, with both his voice talent and likeness. However, it was replaced with the From Russia with Love video game, where Sean Connery starred as Bond, as by that time, Brosnan stepped down from the role.

Andrew Bicknell[edit]

Andrew Bicknell portrayed James Bond in likeness only for Agent Under Fire, in which the character was voiced by Adam Blackwood, who also voiced Bond in three video games. During that time, Brosnan had not renewed his contract as 007, disallowing the use of his physical appearance and voice. Bicknell's likeness was to be featured again in Nightfire, as early development footage showed, but he was replaced when Brosnan's contract was renewed.

Sean Connery[edit]

The first official actor in the film series, Sean Connery stepped in to portray Bond once again in the video game adaptation of From Russia with Love. The game featured both Connery's voice talent and likeness, as well as an updated plot penned by acclaimed Bond writer Bruce Feirstein, who wrote three Bond films and four video games.

Daniel Craig[edit]

Since assuming the role of Bond, Daniel Craig has portrayed the character in voice and likeness in the recent 007 titles, beginning with Quantum of Solace: The Game in 2008, which combined the events of the films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. He reprises the role in two games released simultaneously in 2010: GoldenEye 007, a re-imagining of the original game, and Blood Stone. Craig would have appeared in a cancelled game based on Ian Fleming's short story "Risico", developed by Raven Software. Instead, Activision released 007 Legends which represents six missions based on previous films. Bond's physical appearance carries Daniel Craig's likeness but was voiced by Timothy Watson.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GoldenEye 007 Reviews". gamerankings.com. Retrieved 29 January 2006. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd". Microsoft. 24 September 2002. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2006. 
  3. ^ James Bond 007 :: MI6 - The Home Of James Bond
  4. ^ EA's Lost 007 'Casino Royale' Videogame :: Gaming :: MI6 :: James Bond 007 Video Games
  5. ^ a b Fritz, Ben (3 May 2006). "Bond, Superman games on the move". Variety. Retrieved 18 May 2006. 
  6. ^ "Activision Acquires Bond Video Game License". Retrieved 3 May 2006. 
  7. ^ "Quantum of Solace reviews - Metacritic". Retrieved 30 Jan 2014. 
  8. ^ Earwaker, Kiran (8 October 2010). "GoldenEye 007 - Hands On Preview". TVG Media Ltd. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Williams, Owen (19 April 2012). "Activision Announces 007 Legends". Empire. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  10. ^ http://au.ign.com/videos/2012/10/16/007-legends-video-review
  11. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-07-james-bond-developer-eurocom-makes-remaining-staff-redundant-ceases-trading
  12. ^ Reilly, Luke (7 January 2014). "Telltale President Keen to Make a James Bond Game". IGN. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/games/octopussy_1983.php3?s=games&id=02917
  14. ^ "GoldenEye 007". GT Anthology. gametrailers.com. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Goldeneye Steps Up To NU64" (JPEG). Nintendo Power 78: 112. November 1995. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  16. ^ "Games - Unreleased - GoldenEye". Planet Virtual Boy. Retrieved 8 January 2007. 
  17. ^ "Tomorrow Never Dies Video Game". YouTube. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "IGN: 007: Tomorrow Never Dies Screenshots, Wallpapers and Pics". Media.psx.ign.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "EA and MGM Bond - PSX News at IGN". Psx.ign.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "The World Is Not Enough - PlayStation 2 Preview at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  21. ^ MI6-HQ Copyright 2011. "James Bond 007 :: MI6 - The Home Of James Bond". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  22. ^ MI6-HQ Copyright 2011 (26 May 2010). "EA's Lost 007 'Casino Royale' Videogame :: Gaming :: MI6 :: James Bond 007 Video Games". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "Bond Races to PlayStation 2 Again - PS2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. 11 December 2000. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  24. ^ James Bond 007: "From Russia With Love" by EA Games
  25. ^ "Glu to Create James Bond Game with EON Productions and MGM Interactive". MarketWatch. April 8, 2014. 
  26. ^ Nightfire: Source Community
  27. ^ "‘Nightfire’ being remade in Source Engine". PCGMedia. July 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]