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Activision pull James Bond games from online sale, rumours circle that 007 licence is cancelled

04-Jan-2013 • Gaming

Is it another case of Licence Revoked in the James Bond videogame series?

PC gamers on the Steam download service first noticed that "007 Legends", "Blood Stone" and "Quantum of Solace" had all been removed from sale at the start of the year. All three James Bond titles were published by Activision.

Upon further inspection, all 007 licenced titles have also been removed from sale on Activision's PC download store.

Update: PlayStation users have noticed that 007 titles have been removed Sony's online PlayStation Store and are no longer available to purchase and download. The Xbox 360 Games on Demand service has also removed "007 Legends".

Critics panned the latest game, "007 Legends", which is blamed for the closure of UK game studio Eurocom. Following the release of "Blood Stone", developer Bizarre Creations also shut its doors. Raven Software had a 007 title in development cancelled in 2011.

These two actions and the recent poor sales performance have lead industry blogs to suspect that Activision have terminated their 007 licence early, although as the only direct actions impact online sales & downloads of games, there may be a more subtle reason. Console games sales are handled through distribution channels, so any de-listing of titles may take some time to have an impact.

In May 2006, Activision shocked the game industry by announcing that it had struck a deal with MGM and EON to publish James Bond games through 2014. EA immediately cancelled their "Casino Royale" videogame development. 007 was in digital limbo until Activision's rights became exclusive, which meant Daniel Craig fans would have to wait until "Quantum of Solace" in 2008 to see him in action on gaming consoles and PC.

Activision have so far published four games under the 007 licence (counting "007: GoldenEye" for Wii and "GoldenEye: Reloaded" for PS3 and Xbox360 as the same title). A third-person original adventure starring Daniel Craig by developer Raven Software was said to have been cancelled in 2011.

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