The realm of video game preservation is often a surprising and delightful space. This was again proven recently as a GoldenEye 007 remaster, originally intended for release on the Xbox 360 in 2007, was leaked online in a playable state after a full throughplay uploaded to YouTube.
If you are familiar with the original N64 release of GoldenEye 007, you will notice when watching the video how faithful a remaster this is. Games, music and sound effects remain intact, while the game’s textures have undergone a significant upscaling.
It’s not entirely unlike 4J Studios̵
A lot of old Boris
Unfortunately, the GoldenEye 007 remaster was canned due to copyright issues, but it appears to be in an almost complete state. In fact, the full remaster is now available for download and can be played on an emulator.
It has been confirmed that the game is actually playable, and in a nice state as well, with John Linneman from Digital Foundry quoting just as much in a tweet posted earlier today.
Thinking of holding a DF livestream this afternoon to discuss and play the Goldeneye 360 leaked version. It’s really good. Any interests? pic.twitter.com/h9J84JymMP February 3, 2021
Thanks to various efforts, the GoldenEye 007 remaster has been preserved for fans of the original to check out in their spare time. In a typically witty way, Rare also did not let the project die with a whimper, and acknowledged the probable death with this cheeky splash screen:
While an officially released GoldenEye 007 remaster would be extremely welcome on the XBLA platform, the rights to 007 video games are notoriously difficult to navigate. IP is jointly owned by Danjaq LLC and Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Several video game companies have had access to the franchise over the years, including EA, Activision, Nintendo and most recently Hitman developer IO Interactive.
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has always seemed very aware of the interest in an official GoldenEye 007 remaster. In 2015, Spencer twitret that the rights “are so challenging, looked at this many times. A lot [sic] of different parties to work with, we have always given up. So there is still hope one day for an official revival of this iconic game.