Considering UK team Rare, developer of the seminal FPS GoldenEye 007, was sold to Microsoft from Nintendo and EA lost the Bond license to Activision recently, chances of the classic appearing on Virtual Console seemed slim-to-none.
But, when asked about the possibility of the James Bond shooter appearing on Nintendo's Virtual Console and/or Microsoft's XBLA, the answer given was "GoldenEye is caught up in a convoluted web of rights the likes of which would make the Weaver from Perdido Street Station jealous. That doesn't mean it won't happen, just that a lot of people with a lot of different perspectives are involved."
However, that answer hardly sheds any new light on what we already knew. Adding to this, a question was asked about other Rare games from Nintendo systems appearing on the Wii's retro service, and the response was:
"This is where we finally edge into territory that could see Scribes neutron bombed from management level. The only Rare-developed title on Virtual Console right now is the original Donkey Kong Country, and unofficially there's a strong likelihood that its sequels will follow. But the Donkey Kong series of games is a Nintendo-owned franchise starring an established Nintendo character, whereas something like Banjo isn't (and even Diddy Kong Racing is less clear-cut), so it's nowhere near as easy to call. Especially when you also consider the existence of Xbox Live Arcade. So right now, the best answer we can offer (for either download service) is 'it's possible'."
To read the full Scribes edition (from 28th February, 2007), just follow this link.
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