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Is IO Interactive making the next James Bond game?

Hi folks! As I’ve alluded to in my first impressions of Hitman 3 and my article on the 5 best Hitman games ever made, IO Interactive are making the next James Bond game. Is there evidence for that? Who’s signed off on it, and does this spell the end of Agent 47’s adventures and assassinations? Read on, dear gamers, and we’ll discuss what we know, and where we got the information from.

The Claim

The James Bond film franchise might be going to an amazing success with 25/26 films having been made, but the same can’t be said for the game franchise. Blood Stone is a superb game, and who doesn’t love Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64? However, a lot of games (fairly or otherwise) haven’t always fared that well with both critics and fans. Take Goldeneye: Rogue Agent on the Nintendo Gamecube. I love that game, but Metacritic shows that both critics and gamers don’t agree with me.

Not for the first time, I like a game a lot of people don’t

So, with the yet again extended release date of the next James Bond film, rumours started going around our journalistic circles. Simply put, the reason why IO Interactive aren’t making another Hitman game for a while is because their next project is a James Bond game.

The test of the claim

As most journalists worth their salt do, we have to test the claim. Is it credible, is it likely, and is it ridiculous? Let’s look at each of these in detail.

To test the claim’s credibility, we have to look for the means and the motive. IO Interactive has the means. After the great game that is Hitman 3 releasing, they’re certainly more than capable of making a James Bond game, as their imagining of Hitman feels like it’s firmly placed in the world of James Bond. Providence and The Sarajevo Six certainly feel as if they’ve been pulled straight from the imagination of Ian Fleming. So, yes, the means are there.

Tell me these don’t look like characters from James Bond.

As for the motivation, well, James Bond is a licence to print money for people. His films are incredibly popular. I’m not joking about that. Skyfall, which was the penultimate Bond film available to watch (until October 2021), broke several records upon release. Skyfall is the second highest-grossing film in the UK, having made £103.2 Million. If IO Interactive need motivation, making a successful James Bond game would make them in high demand, particularly given the developer gold rush taking place with Sony and Microsoft.

Next point: Is this claim likely? Well, I’ve contacted IO Interactive’s offices several times in the last 24 hours, and not heard anything back, but that’s probably because it’s little old me. However, saying that, other news outlets have reported on this. This includes MSN News, British GQ, and Games Radar. However, the ultimate proof came from IO themselves in November 2020, when they launched a website called Project 007. So yes, dear gamers, this is likely. In fact, considering this is a primary source, and we have at least two secondary sources with proven track records, this is true.

What are the challenges we can see IO facing?

James Bond presents several challenges for the developers but let’s start with the PR issues. James Bond is an elitist, upper class white male assassin with numerous vices and even more numerous issues. His attitudes towards women, people of colour and LGTBQIA people are derogatory at best and at worst, a relic of a bygone era that should have stayed there. Cleaning up Bond’s attitudes are going to be a lot harder than marketing Bond, as we’ve already shown you that he basically shits money.

Cleaning Bond’s attitudes up for the modern era is a mammoth task, considering the backlash that some critics have given to the idea that 007 is a rank, and the holder of that rank in No Time To Die is a black lassie. There are modules on James Bond in the books taught at universities, and as someone who touched briefly on this at university, it’s fair to say the world of James Bond in the books is Ian Fleming’s impotent wet dream. I could go on about why adapting Bond to a modern audience could prove tricky. In many ways, if it was me, I’d keep Bond’s story rooted firmly in the past.

Image result for black 007
Yes, she’s 007, get over it.

The other challenge comes from a technical standpoint, as the films have made him more Action Man than Agent 47. The action point (ie combat) will take a lot more time to create than the stealth bit, because IO Interactive have made the Hitman: World of Assassination trilogy. They’ve got that aspect pretty much locked down. However, the combat aspects of James Bond will need some refining as we already know that James Bond is more-or-less bulletproof, but he’s also a keen hand-to-hand fighter, and this is where I can see IO Interactive having an issue. Ideally, they might want to work with or hire programmers from WB Montreal or Insomniac Games for this.

What do we know about the game already?

Well, I could summarise what IO Interactive are saying, but instead, I’ll use the information straight from their site:

“In collaboration with MGM, EON Productions and Delphi, IO Interactive is proud to announce that we will develop and publish a brand new James Bond video game. Project 007 (working title) features a wholly original Bond story and will see players earn their 00 status in the very first James Bond origin story. Project 007 will be powered by IO Interactive’s proprietary Glacier technology and will be made for modern systems and platforms.”.

Project 007 is currently in active development at IO Interactive’s offices in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden. Both locations are recruiting elite talent from around the world to join the team that will build out this exciting and unique gaming title.

“It’s true that once in a while, the stars do align in our industry,” said Hakan Abrak, CEO of IO Interactive, “Creating an original Bond game is a monumental undertaking and I truly believe that IO Interactive, working closely with our creative partners at EON and MGM, can deliver something extremely special for our players and communities. Our passionate team is excited to unleash their creativity into the iconic James Bond universe and craft the most ambitious game in the history of our studio.”

Robert Marick, MGM’s Executive Vice President Global Consumer Products and Experiences, said, “James Bond has a strong legacy in the video game space, with some of the most iconic games of all-time based on the character. Working with our partners at EON and the talented team at IO Interactive, we plan to bring a new take on this legendary franchise to gamers and Bond fans around the world. IO Interactive are masters of crafting living, breathing worlds of immersive storytelling.”

TLDR?

So there we have it folks, a James Bond 007 game is being made by the guys who’ve just handed us the best Hitman games ever made. We don’t know when it’s coming out yet, but when we know, you’ll know. We will of course, provide you with sources to back it up, and let you know of any further developments. For now, keep safe, keep at home, and keep reading.

For The Gamerhub, I’ve been Davey.

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