In a surprise pre-E3 announcement, MGM Interactive and EON Productions Ltd. have awarded Activision the rights to develop and publish interactive entertainment games based on the James Bond license through 2014, moving the franchise away from former major licensor EA.
Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will obtain the worldwide rights to create video games for all current and next-generation consoles, PC and hand-held platforms. The license will grant Activision the right to develop and publish games based on all of the James Bond movies, as well as non-movie based games.
Previous Bond-based games from EA, most recently including From Russia With Love, saw a mixed reception from critics. Recent reports from unofficial Bond fansite CommanderBond indicated that Casino Royale, EA's allegedly in-development title based on the forthcoming relaunch of the Bond franchise starring Daniel Craig, had been cancelled earlier in 2006, with this announcement being part of the likely cause.
"James Bond is the ultimate action movie franchise, and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with MGM and EON," said Mike Griffith, president and CEO of Activision Publishing Inc. "The James Bond franchise creates tremendous global expansion opportunities for Activision as it is one of the few video game licenses that appeals equally to domestic and international consumers. James Bond storylines are rich with style, drama and action, all of which lend themselves perfectly to developing extraordinary games that capture the thrill of being the most celebrated secret agent in the world."
"Activision's track record of developing engaging and sophisticated games across all platforms makes it the ideal partner to introduce the Bond videogame experience to a new generation of game players, as well as to provide new thrills and excitement for the legions of people who are already fans of the Bond films and games," said David Pope, CEO of EON Productions Limited, maker of the James Bond films.