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

Rare owned by Activision? Could have been!

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]