The Team That Made GoldenEye Was All For Adding That Famous Multiplayer Last Minute—They Just Didn't Tell Their Bosses

Fellow gamers who came of age in the late 1990s may remember that any time four or more of their friends got together in one place, a round of GoldenEye was almost certain to break out. From 1997 through at least 1999, it seemed to be almost everywhere. Even players (like yours truly) who didn't own a Nintendo 64 put in at least a few rounds at friends' houses. Whether you remember it fondly or think it was terrible, GoldenEye, and particularly its multiplayer, were a staple of the times.

The multiplayer mode was not only a late addition to the game but also, it turns out, put in without the higher-ups at either the developer, Rare, or the publisher, Nintendo, ever being told. In a post-mortem presentation about the game at the Game Developers Conference in Europe this week, game director Martin Hollis revealed how close a thing that multiplayer mode was, Joystiq reports.

Hollis's presentation included an anecdote from programmer Steve Ellis, who reflected on how the team didn't exactly bother to ask permission before dropping the code into the game:

One of the things that always strikes me as crazy in retrospect is that until something like March or April of 1997, there wasn't a multiplayer mode at all. It hadn't even been started. It really was put in at the last minute — something you wouldn't dream of doing these days — and it was done without the knowledge or permission of the management at Rare and Nintendo. The first they knew about it was when we showed it to them working. However — since the game was already late by that time, if we hadn't done it that way, it probably never would have happened.

The game was released in August, 1997. For the multiplayer not even to have been conceived of until April is a short turnaround indeed. Hollis further added that features were often added to the game without the management's knowledge or permission, since Rare and Nintendo were both surprisingly hands-off with the team.

Many industrious workers in corporate offices of every type have discovered that it is often easier to ask forgiveness than permission. In this case, the gaming world was all the luckier for it.

GoldenEye 007's multiplayer was added last minute, unknown to Rare and Nintendo management [Joystiq]


    I really miss the old 'Rare' and their totally beast games such as Goldeneye, Conker, Banjo Kazzooie and Perfect Dark.

    It's sad to see the developers of some my favourite games of all time are working on Kinect Shovelware

      That's because the brains behind Goldeneye and Perfect Dark left Rare to form Free Radical and go on to make The awesome Timesplitters series.

        Which is another story with a sad ending

      Don't forget Jet Force Gemini. One of the more overlooked Rare masterpieces.

        And Diddy Kong Racing! Man they made such brilliant games. *sigh*

    The king of multiplayer was, Micro Machines 2 J-Cart madness. What ever you do, Don't bump the cartridge!

      Oh hell yes.

      Oh hell yes.

        Micro Machines V3, or Bomberman 2 on Snes.
        Absolute genius.

    hands-off management is often the best thing when you have competent staff. Management is really only needed to give new staff direction and make sure that incompetents gets flagged and removed

    still cant get over their glory days

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now