We’ve known for some time now that IO Interactive, the studio behind the fantastic Hitman games, is working on a new James Bond game. And while that team seems like a perfect match and a new Bond game seems long overdue, according to IOI, the team had to assure the folks who own the spy franchise that it wasn’t going to make another FPS in order to convince them to hand over the rights.
GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 is one of the most famous and beloved video games in history. It popularized FPS games on consoles, sold over eight million copies, and led to dozens of similar James Bond FPS games. I’d argue the games helped grow the franchise’s audience. With all that said, you’d think Eon Productions—the folks who own the Bond franchise—would be excited about a new game based on its popular spy. But according to the devs behind it, that wasn’t the case—and you can blame GoldenEye for that.
In the newest edition of Edge magazine, as reported by GamesRadar, IO Interactive co-owners Hakan Abrak and Christian Elverdam talked about the still-in-development 007 game, detailing their vision for the project. But the two also explained that it took a lot of convincing to get Eon Productions to sign off on the project, as the Bond owners didn’t want yet another “action-oriented” FPS.
“Our impression was clearly that [at the time] they were not looking for a game,” said IO Interactive CEO and co-owner Hakan Abrak. “And I think it’s fair that they might not have been super-happy with some of the later games.”
The co-owners of IO Interactive pitched Eon Productions on a James Bond game that was less GoldenEye and more about being a globe-trotting, stealth-oriented spy. Elverdam explained that its pitch to Eon focused on how its 007 project would be about getting in and out of a location without causing much collateral damage or engaging in violence unless needed. In other words, IO Interactive’s project won’t be Bond running down endless corridors carrying 20 guns and shooting everyone he encounters, which is how I would describe the vast majority of 007 games made in the last 20 years. Instead, it sounds like it will play a lot more like the Hitman games, where violence is often a last resort and stealthy gameplay is king.
Elverdam told Edge that this approach “helped [IO Interactive] convince Eon that there’s a sophistication in how we treat the agent fantasy.” This seems to have been enough to get the green light and let IO make its Bond project. And honestly, after playing far too many Bond shooters, I can’t wait for a more stealth-oriented spy game. I’ve said before that IOI is the best developer to make a modern 007 game and I can’t wait to see what the studio is working on when it finally reveals more about Project 007.