It would appear that the almost impenetrable fortress of secrets that is Rare’s England based offices couldn’t keep James Bond’s cancelled XBLA mission a secret forever. A YouTuber by the name of ‘Rare Thief’ has uploaded 30 minutes of what appears to be direct-feed footage of the cancelled Xbox Live Arcade reimagining of the 1997 classic.
Previous leaks surrounding the unannounced, incomplete and unreleased title amounted to a widely circulated magazine cover story from Xbox Magazine from a few years back and a 30 second video clip from the Silo level.
Rare Thief’s leak is much more substantial – showing the Dam and Facility missions on Agent difficulty level in full as well as the bonus Aztec mission and some split-screen multiplayer. If GoldenEye Source got you nostalgic a few weeks back then this leak will hit you right in the feels.
As Unseen64 describes the development of the game – this project was never sanctioned by the then holders of the James Bond license (Activision) and had a very small staff of 8 people working on the upgraded port. Microsoft would eventually partner with 4J Studios for an updated version of GoldenEye’s spiritual successor Perfect Dark on XBLA in 2010.
Here is how Unseen64 described the development of Goldeneye XBLA:
“the game was developed in just one year by just 8 people; Dam, Depot and Frigate levels are selectable as multiplayer arenas (even the fabled Citadel was considered just “for the fan reaction”) and the N64 version isn’t technically a port, but a rather smart graphic filter use that makes the new game look the old-fashioned way.”
It is quite interesting to imagine what could have been if Microsoft / Activision and Nintendo had come to an agreement to release this port back in 2008. I’ve reached out to try and find out as much information on the Goldeneye XBLA footage that I can. To date no copy of the unreleased title has leaked to the public and it is not known how old this footage is or what its source of origin may be.