A fan remake of the beloved N64 classic GoldenEye 007 has been in the works for years, with a view to releasing it on the 25th anniversary in 2022. However, the team behind GoldenEye 25 has been forced to pivot after receiving a cease and desist letter.
Although project creator Ben Colcough planned to give away the remake of the single-player campaign for free, that wasn’t enough to sate the original game’s rights holders. “We’re sad to announce that we’ve been kindly asked by the IP holder (MGM/Danjaq) to cease development of GoldenEye 25,” the team wrote on Twitter (via Eurogamer). "This was always in the back of our heads as a possibility but we've tried our best to keep going.”
MGM and Danjaq asked the team to stop work on the project by August 19th, according to composer Yannick Zenhäusern, and remove all related social media posts. The GoldenEye 25 Twitter account will be removed by Friday.
However, not all of the work that’s gone into GoldenEye 25 will go to waste. The team plans to keep going with an “original game” based on “all the beloved aspects of our favorite ‘90s action shooter.” The crew set up a new Twitter handle, @spiesdontdie, for the first-person shooter.
The GoldenEye name and James Bond characters are off-limits to the developers. There’ll be a different story, and the team will likely revamp some levels and add new ones. However, the developers can continue to use some elements of GoldenEye 007, including the watch menu, sound effects, models and textures, gadgets and most weapons. The guns will need different names, though.
So many notifications it's breaking Twitter, so sorry if I miss some questions/comments!— Project Ianus (@projectianus) August 11, 2020
Some things we can still use:
🔹The watch menu
🔹Weapons and the ammo system
🔹Portions of levels
🔹A large library of 3D models and textures.
🔹Sound effects pic.twitter.com/g5fd3lEKk0
It’s a shame that GoldenEye 25 won’t come to light as planned. Other fan remakes, such as the Black Mesa remaster of Half-Life, have made it into the wild. But as the GoldenEye 25 team noted, there was always the chance of a hammer falling on the remake, despite MGM and Danjaq allowing other projects to remain live.
There’s a bit of a silver lining in that the retooled project can make its way to Steam and perhaps even consoles. Still, for many who were looking forward to GoldenEye 25, they’ll be left to wonder what might have been.
Update 8/11 5:45PM ET: The Twitter handle for the new project has changed from @projectianus to @spiesdontdie. This post has been updated to reflect that.