People Who Made GoldenEye Were Almost Purchased By The People Who Are Making GoldenEye

Giant video game company Activision, who are publishing a Wii homage to GoldenEye next month, were thisclose back in the day to buying Rare, the studio behind the original 1997 Nintendo 64 first-person shooter, according to an interview in Develop.

Former Microsoft executive Ed Fries, who was instrumental in getting Rare purchased by its current Xbox-making owners almost a decade ago, tells the British gaming new outlet that he was convinced circa 2002 Activision was going to acquire Rare.

Fries talking to Develop:

"They made the best initial offer, and Rare looked at both of us and, from the way I saw it, was more interested in partnering with Activision. I think it's because they wanted to be third-party, independent of all platforms."

For reasons unknown to Fries, the deal fell apart and Microsoft was able to snatch up Rare. Since then, Rare's been a Microsoft Game Studio, producing sequels to its Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark series, creating new titles such as Grabbed By The Ghoulies and Kameo, and most recently creating the look of the Xbox 360's Avatar system and working on games for the console's controller-free Kinect.

Rare once made GoldenEye, though. On the Nintendo 64. With Nintendo. Some — all? — of that original design team is no longer at Rare. The new GoldenEye, published by Activision, is being developed by Eurocom. (Check out our comparison of the N64 GoldenEye to the new one.)

So close!

Activision's deal to steal Rare ‘collapsed' [Develop Online]


    and Rare would be even more terrible than it is now.

      So true, though. RARE is absolutely nothing compared to its former glory. Some of my best gaming memories were playing RARE games on the N64. In fact, GOLDENEYE is still one of the better FPS's that I have played to date (and I am a big FPS fan). It is a testament to how well thought out and executed the product was...that the people who made the game had a real love for what they were doing, not just out to make a licensed game for the money.

    Pretty much the worst possible place for Rare is with Microsoft. This was the case when they were first bought, this is the case now. Its hard to imagine but Activision would have indeed been a step up.

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