Goldeneye 007 Saga: Who Owns What?

And blame Iwata while you're at it.

Posted by Staff
Iwata: blocked deal?
Iwata: blocked deal?
So, Kotaku has been lead to believe by "Sources within Microsoft who were very close to the (Goldeneye 007) project" that President and CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, is apparently the man to blame for the fact that you won't be playing Goldeneye 007 on your Xbox 360.

The website also points out that this is, "despite a proposed deal from Microsoft that would have seen not only GoldenEye released on the Virtual Console but other, unspecified Rare games... as well".

Released on 'Virtual Console'? We thought this whole deal was about Goldeneye 007 appearing/not appearing on Xbox Live Arcade.

Anyway, let's call that a slip of the finger for now. Apparently Iwata didn't want a game developed by a company partly-owned (as Rare was at the time) by Nintendo appearing on a competing system. Aside from the obvious question of hard cash, why would Iwata get so involved?

Also, you would have to ask yourself, "Why would Nintendo want one of its games on a Microsoft system?"

You may also respond to yourself, "Well, Microsoft owns Rare, has done since 2002, so it must own all the Rare developed IP?"

You would, of course, then have had to go back to the agreement signed between Microsoft and Rare in 2002... back... back...

...back to when SPOnG's own Stefan Walters broke the world exclusive regarding the deal. Back in September 2002, Nintendo still owned 49% of UK-based Rare.

Later that month we reported that, Rare founders, the Stamper brothers "bought back 49 percent of their shares from a no-longer-interested Nintendo, Rare has sold the entire company to Microsoft for $375 million".

However, also that month we reported the following key statement from Nintendo regarding any decision to sell Rare:

"Although Nintendo doesn't comment on rumours or speculation by the media, we can tell you that Nintendo has made the decision not to request Rare to make any further exclusive games for the Nintendo GameCube.

"Star Fox Adventures, which was jointly developed by Rare and Nintendo, will launch as scheduled on September 23 and will remain exclusive to the Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo's other great franchise characters such as Donkey Kong also will remain exclusive to Nintendo."


So, 'great franchise characters' remained exclusive to Nintendo. What about licensed IP such as a movie or literary character; such as James Bond? Again, Nintendo not Rare signed the deal for the movie tie-in, then called on Rare as the developer. This means that Nintendo retains the rights.

As for Iwata nixing the deal, well, the entire Rare sale appears to have been a sour experience for the great man. At the time we reported the following, out of character snipe from Iwata:

"They take too much time with product development to generate meaningful results for us," hinting that Microsoft may encounter similar problems with the development outfit. This follows Iwata's assertion that Rare has only been accounting for around 1.5 percent of Nintendo's earnings.


Maybe he retains the same bad taste? Or maybe it was just bloody obvious to him that a major Nintendo game, with a movie tie-in deal signed with a third-party, really shouldn't be making someone else money?

The saga rolls on...

In the meantime, we have contacted Nintendo to discover exactly when Goldeneye 007 will be coming out on Virtual Console.

Source: Kotaku
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Comments

Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 21.
OptimusP 15 Jan 2008 11:52
2/21
Because Goldeneye is a license nightmare. Not only do they need some kind of approval of Nintendo but you need to strike a deal with whoever owns the rights to publish Bond-games.
Svend Joscelyne 15 Jan 2008 12:14
3/21
OptimusP wrote:
Because Goldeneye is a license nightmare. Not only do they need some kind of approval of Nintendo but you need to strike a deal with whoever owns the rights to publish Bond-games.

If rumours are to be believed however, Activision (who now own the Bond license games-wise) gave Microsoft/Rare the OK with it. It apparently all stands with Nintendo.

Funny thing is, without this deal happening, you'll never see Goldeneye on the Virtual Console either. Rare owns the code, Nintendo owns the original publishing rights and Activision own the Bond license. There's no way Rare were reportedly 2 months away from completing a revised Goldeneye 007 if they didn't have a major right in the matter, so Nintendo can't exactly re-release Goldeneye without Rare either.

Personally, this whole thing is just absurd. Kinda lost a chunk of respect for Nintendo lately, what with blocking production of Mario & Sonic and now this (assuming rumours are to be believed and it is Nintendo that's the sticking point here). It's like they went back to their 1980s arrogant selves, only without any games this time around.

I'd also like to add that, before anyone gets elitist around here, that many people would be happy to play Goldeneye again for longer than ten minutes. I still play it today for instance; more than Halo (overrated, changed console FPS for the worse if you want my opinion) certainly. It might be crude in today's day and age, but it built console FPS'. Without Goldeneye 007, you wouldn't have Halo on your XBOX, it'd still be on a Mac somewhere.
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soanso 15 Jan 2008 12:26
4/21
It's a shame that Goldeneye will probably forever be tied up in red tape. It is one of those games that really should be on every format, one of those games that everybody should play like SFII or Doom or Tetris.
config 15 Jan 2008 12:52
5/21
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
And yet till this very day Rare have not released 1 decent game for Xbox or Xbox 360 that is highly acclaimed...

Eh? Kameo was general well received, getting a B from SPOnG and totting up a health 79 on Metacritic, as was Viva Piñata (getting 84) and Perfect Dark Zero (81).

Rare is hardly prolific or consistent in producing great product, but you cannot say that it hasn't produces a single decent game for Xboxes.
SuperSaiyan4 15 Jan 2008 13:02
6/21
Svend Joscelyne wrote:
OptimusP wrote:
Because Goldeneye is a license nightmare. Not only do they need some kind of approval of Nintendo but you need to strike a deal with whoever owns the rights to publish Bond-games.

If rumours are to be believed however, Activision (who now own the Bond license games-wise) gave Microsoft/Rare the OK with it. It apparently all stands with Nintendo.

Funny thing is, without this deal happening, you'll never see Goldeneye on the Virtual Console either. Rare owns the code, Nintendo owns the original publishing rights and Activision own the Bond license. There's no way Rare were reportedly 2 months away from completing a revised Goldeneye 007 if they didn't have a major right in the matter, so Nintendo can't exactly re-release Goldeneye without Rare either.

Personally, this whole thing is just absurd. Kinda lost a chunk of respect for Nintendo lately, what with blocking production of Mario & Sonic and now this (assuming rumours are to be believed and it is Nintendo that's the sticking point here). It's like they went back to their 1980s arrogant selves, only without any games this time around.

I'd also like to add that, before anyone gets elitist around here, that many people would be happy to play Goldeneye again for longer than ten minutes. I still play it today for instance; more than Halo (overrated, changed console FPS for the worse if you want my opinion) certainly. It might be crude in today's day and age, but it built console FPS'. Without Goldeneye 007, you wouldn't have Halo on your XBOX, it'd still be on a Mac somewhere.


HALO 1 is the best FPS ever made...period.

There is NO other game out there that has that kind of music, AI, general fee and over play of the game.
deleted 15 Jan 2008 13:47
7/21
config wrote:
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
And yet till this very day Rare have not released 1 decent game for Xbox or Xbox 360 that is highly acclaimed...

Eh? Kameo was general well received, getting a B from SPOnG and totting up a health 79 on Metacritic, as was Viva Piñata (getting 84) and Perfect Dark Zero (81).

Rare is hardly prolific or consistent in producing great product, but you cannot say that it hasn't produces a single decent game for Xboxes.


I?m glad you replied, because I'm starting to feel like I?m targeting his stupid comments now!, honest SS I have better use of my time than replying to your `Jibber Jabber Fool` but I feel I have to, its like a small child who keeps touching a hot stove and you have to repeat yourself until it sinks in!
NO! NO! NO! HOT!
Svend Joscelyne 15 Jan 2008 14:22
8/21
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
HALO 1 is the best FPS ever made...period.

This will be the only time I stoop so low...

Failure.
SuperSaiyan4 15 Jan 2008 14:54
9/21
haritori wrote:
config wrote:
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
And yet till this very day Rare have not released 1 decent game for Xbox or Xbox 360 that is highly acclaimed...

Eh? Kameo was general well received, getting a B from SPOnG and totting up a health 79 on Metacritic, as was Viva Piñata (getting 84) and Perfect Dark Zero (81).

Rare is hardly prolific or consistent in producing great product, but you cannot say that it hasn't produces a single decent game for Xboxes.


I?m glad you replied, because I'm starting to feel like I?m targeting his stupid comments now!, honest SS I have better use of my time than replying to your `Jibber Jabber Fool` but I feel I have to, its like a small child who keeps touching a hot stove and you have to repeat yourself until it sinks in!
NO! NO! NO! HOT!


Err no.

Kameo was very good but didnt fly off the shelves, PDZ was over hyped and was again a failure, Viva Pinata didnt fly off the shelves either and the series died.
config 15 Jan 2008 15:25
10/21
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
config wrote:
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
And yet till this very day Rare have not released 1 decent game for Xbox or Xbox 360 that is highly acclaimed...

Eh? Kameo was general well received, getting a B from SPOnG and totting up a health 79 on Metacritic, as was Viva Piñata (getting 84) and Perfect Dark Zero (81).

Rare is hardly prolific or consistent in producing great product, but you cannot say that it hasn't produces a single decent game for Xboxes.

Err no.

Kameo was very good but didnt fly off the shelves, PDZ was over hyped and was again a failure, Viva Pinata didnt fly off the shelves either and the series died.

So by your own admission Kameo was very good, contradicting your own argument that "Rare have not released 1 decent game for Xbox or Xbox 360 that is highly acclaimed".

Oh and, BTW, not "flying off the shelves" does not equal a commercial failure. Ref "Simpsons Road Rage" or "Simpsons Wrestling". It's called the "long tail".

PDZ, while it may not have sold, the consensus is that it was a good game.

Viva Piñata - well, if it didn't fly off the shelves, why did Microsoft bother with the 2007 sequel Viva Piñata: Party Animals (thus, the series didn't die, and you're wrong again)
OptimusP 15 Jan 2008 15:59
11/21
You need confirmation he was wrong all the time? He just said Halo is the best FPS ever, even when every idiot on the world can track back all the elements of Halo to other games who were 5+ years older and where better then Halo.

*Cast lvl 3 Healing water on himself*

I though if you owned the code you only...you know have the code, the engine and such and the Nintendo couldn't re-use the engine for other games and such. Nintendo having the publishing rights should not stand in the way of Nintendo releasing it on the VC? Who's a major in this kind of lawstuff?
realvictory 15 Jan 2008 18:44
12/21
I also think Halo was overrated. And it's also quite appropriate that we're talking about games being good vs. games that make money...

My favourite game of Rare's is Conker's BFD, which hardly anyone bought, but everyone should have done. I saw it for £10 in Game, and not buying a game that good at that price is equivalent to punching Rare in the face.

Anyway, here's how this needs to be sorted out: Rare makes Goldeneye online, release it on XBLA, release it on VC. Nintendo can shut their mouths, and everybody's happy.
deleted 15 Jan 2008 19:17
13/21
realvictory wrote:

My favourite game of Rare's is Conker's BFD,



Conkers was great, But my Fav was Blast Corps.

edit:
oh and banjo kazooie.

edit:

and DK 64
realvictory 15 Jan 2008 20:13
14/21
Also, I'm talking about the XBox version, which had a massive graphics update, plus an extra online game. And the original N64 version cost £50.

I bought an XBox purely to play Halo 2 on it, however, Conker's BFD and Outrun 2 (which were more like impulse-buys) I appreciated much more. Then I got Outrun 2006 on the PS2 and PSP, and the only reason I haven't got rid of my XBox yet is because of Conker's BFD. Which does warrant respect.

Still, I think Rare has deteriorated a bit. On the other hand, I do think that anyone preventing Goldeneye's Live/VC release is thick, and as far as I'm concerned, they lose my respect, since they clearly don't care as much about games as they should.

I didn't think Goldeneye was quite as good as people make it out to be either, however it is a great game, and it will have a huge effect once it finally becomes downloadable. Most of all, though, I hope they make it online, because it's a wasted opportunity otherwise, and anyone who doesn't agree with that, I think has something wrong with them.

Also, it;s important to say, that Halo (series) isn't actually a bad game, it's just that I think new type of game that take more risk, or improved versions of better types of game deserve more respect. But Halo is a good game.
Bond Fan 15 Jan 2008 21:26
15/21
That thick-head just lost a long-time Nintendo gamer. I have Wii, PS3 and 306 and am EBaying the Wii tonight.

Here's hoping some ****ed off developer leaks a version of the game on the internets...
OptimusP 15 Jan 2008 21:32
16/21
realvictory wrote:
Still, I think Rare has deteriorated a bit. On the other hand, I do think that anyone preventing Goldeneye's Live/VC release is thick, and as far as I'm concerned, they lose my respect, since they clearly don't care as much about games as they should.

Yes, that's why Nintendo let Rare keep all their IP's even if they could have taken them all before the sale to Microsoft. No Wait...

It's more a case that Nintendo cares a lot about their own games and suddenly having someone not under their supervision making a new version of one of their best sold games. That's unacceptable to a so dedicated gamecompany like Nintendo.
config 16 Jan 2008 09:26
17/21
If Nintendo still held a licence to publish a Goldeneye game (unlikely, mind), the guy most likely to succeed would be the one that commissioned Free Radical to produce a next-gen, or rather, Wii gen version.
OptimusP 16 Jan 2008 09:50
18/21
I always thaught that Nintendo only has the publishing rights to publish Goldeneye on the N64 specific (same for all the other Rare-made games under Nintendo). You know, Nintendo and Microsoft should publish the entire deal (the Rare purchase) with all the details somewhere so we all can sort it out.
deleted 16 Jan 2008 10:04
19/21
OptimusP wrote:
I always thaught that Nintendo only has the publishing rights to publish Goldeneye on the N64 specific (same for all the other Rare-made games under Nintendo). You know, Nintendo and Microsoft should publish the entire deal (the Rare purchase) with all the details somewhere so we all can sort it out.


LoL, Yeah because Microsoft, Rare and Nintendo will want out advice, that?s why we a still waiting for,
1. Nintendo Hard Disk
2. Viva Piñata 2 Announcement
3. And another million things for 360.

Because they just need us to tell them!
OptimusP 16 Jan 2008 15:44
20/21
haritori wrote:
OptimusP wrote:
I always thaught that Nintendo only has the publishing rights to publish Goldeneye on the N64 specific (same for all the other Rare-made games under Nintendo). You know, Nintendo and Microsoft should publish the entire deal (the Rare purchase) with all the details somewhere so we all can sort it out.


LoL, Yeah because Microsoft, Rare and Nintendo will want out advice, that?s why we a still waiting for,
1. Nintendo Hard Disk
2. Viva Piñata 2 Announcement
3. And another million things for 360.

Because they just need us to tell them!


That's the spirit! Power to the people!

(with sorting out, i meant the discussions here, not sorting it out for Nintendo and Microsoft in their stead, sorry for the confusing ^^)
PreciousRoi 17 Jan 2008 03:27
21/21
I think its pretty clear what the situation is... Nintendo, due to the fact that Rare was brought in as developer after Nintendo had already secured the rights to develop GoldenEye, retains effective control over GoldenEye. The IP's owner dealt with and delegated authority over their IP to Nintendo, not Rare, Rare was acting as either an employee or independant contractor under Nintendo. Now I'm not saying that Rare has no similar sovereignty over the code itself, or something similar, it might well be the case that either Rare or Nintendo is capable of blocking further exploitation of the GoldenEye 007 code or portions thereof, like a UN Security Council members veto. It might well be the case that by changing the whole game superficially...say, giving it a Halo skin, so to speak, removing everything that makes "GoldenEye" 007-y Rare could do an end run around Nintendo's balkiness. Reference precedent Konami's "Jungle King"*(later "Jungle Hunt" SPOnG's page) vs. Tarzan (Edgar Rice Burrough's estate), et. al.

Rare never owned the entriety of GoldenEye 007 to begin with, from appearances, without Nintendo, they had no authority to make a Bond game, and the genesis of the project was Nintendo.

*my family had at least one working version of each at one time
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