The long-awaited remaster of the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 is in “limbo” due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to reports from multiple sources.
“Goldeneye is still in limbo because of the war,” Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb says on Twitter. After Grubb’s comment, Eurogamer (opens in new tab) separately reported that it “understands this to be accurate.”
Goldeneye is still in limbo because of the war. 1 v 100’s team lead left Microsoft. I don’t know what that means for the game.July 10, 2022
GoldenEye is, of course, based on the 1995 James Bond film, which takes place both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. The movie’s plot focuses heavily on post-Cold War Russia, and many of the film’s Russian military themes and settings appear in the game’s levels. The fictional Russian general, Ourumov, and several nameless Russian soldiers are also playable in the game’s multiplayer mode.
The remastered version of GoldenEye has never been officially acknowledged, but its existence has been an open secret for years. A seemingly complete, playable Xbox 360 build of the remaster leaked last year, and in 2022, achievements for a new version of the game appeared in the Xbox back-end multiple times.
Developers on the older version of the GoldenEye remaster have put the blame on Nintendo for canceling it (opens in new tab). While the exact details on who must sign off on the game’s release have never been 100% clear, Nintendo published the original N64 game, Microsoft now owns developer Rare, and stakeholders for the James Bond license would likely need to be involved as well.
Given how close the modern remaster seemed to be to release – earlier this year, Grubb reported that the game was ready to release “pretty soon” – it looks like those rights issues have now been sorted out.
However, no major company wants to appear indifferent to a real-world tragedy. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Nintendo announced an indefinite delay to Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, a military-themed game which, unlike GoldenEye, has no specific aesthetic references to either side of the conflict.
For now, your best bet to scratch your GoldenEye itch is probably with the Xbox 360 remaster of Rare’s spiritual successor, Perfect Dark, which is backward-compatible on current Xbox consoles and available as part of Xbox Game Pass. Another one to watch is Agent 64: Spies Never Die from indie studio Replicant D6, which has a free demo on Steam (opens in new tab).
The game industry has broadly rallied around Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of the country. Ukrainian developers like Stalker 2 studio GSC Game World have called for the world’s support during the war.