Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
27 March 2006
GoldenEye 007: the other evil dimension of licensing
Today we get word that GoldenEye 007 won't appear on the Nintendo Revolution. No big surprise, given that it involves a whole pack of interests: Rare, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, and probably the Broccoli and Ian Fleming people. The lesson: A licensed game that's popular and worth playing can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to republish after its original run.

This has happened before, but you probably didn't hear about it. The Atari 2600 games Ghostbusters and Double Dragon will probably never be published in original form as part of an emulation compilation, victims of a movie license and arcade game license, respectively. In the case of Double Dragon, I believe it has been included in some compilation after having all references to the original game removed. such editing either wasn't tried or wasn't practical in the case of Ghostbusters.

I suspect there have been similar problems with Intellivision games. And it's a real shame that the only legal version of Star Wars: The Arcade Game was so disappointing, as it may never happen again.

While it is possible that Goldeneye 007 could be scrubbed in some way, the value of the game would be greatly diminished for the loss of its distinctive Bond trappings. Just losing the music would be pretty bad, in my opinion.

What other classic games will miss the Revolution because of nasty legal issues? I imagine more disappointment is just around the corner.


--Matt Matthews at 18:21
Comment [ 5 ]

Comments on this post:

One of my favourite SNES RPGs will likely never show up on a Nintendo console because of the licensing mess: Shadowrun.

Apart from being published by a now defunct company (Data East -- no idea who has their rights now), it is also a FASA license. FASA is now owned by Microsoft.

By Blogger n0wak, at 27 March, 2006 19:33  

Reminds me of the WKRP in Cincinnati issue -- It's, if you believe all I think I've heard -- having a hard time being released on DVD because of the songs that were played in the background. You have to license them to release the TV show, and it's proven too difficult to get it all straight, apparently.

Too many cooks in the IP kitchen make for some interesting situations like this. I can't tell if I'm happy you still have to have an N64 to play a few games or not.

By Blogger rufbo, at 28 March, 2006 06:18  

Looks like Ruffin heard right:

WKRP in Cincinnati was one of the most popular television shows of the late '70s and early '80s, but it is unlikely ever to be released on DVD because of high music-licensing costs.

From Wired News.

By Blogger jvm, at 28 March, 2006 07:27  

Oops, I forgot to add:

There appears to be a VHS tape collection that was released. One is listed on Amazon right now for $125, used. So: how did it make it out on VHS but not DVD?

By Blogger jvm, at 28 March, 2006 07:28  

Cause the IP market has gotten exceedingly stringent over the last decade or so?

For the same reasons (IP issues), the great British comedy "Spaced" is likely to never receive a Region 1 release.

By Blogger n0wak, at 28 March, 2006 12:33  

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