7th December 2023
Details have emerged about Rockstar's canceled James Bond-style game
By MI6 Staff
Among the many big announcements at E3 way back in 2009 was the reveal of Agent, a PlayStation 3 exclusive title coming from Rockstar and their publisher Take-Two, the folks who brought the world the Grand Theft Auto series. Details on the game were kept quiet with only its logo on show.
Take-Two's CEO of the time Ben Feder did describe how the game would be different to GTA: "It's a completely different storyline, there is completely different character development. It's a game about espionage, set in the 1970s. GTA is more about an urban experience, a typically rags-to-riches experience. Very, very different storylines, and very different character development. It's going to be very fresh for gamers."
Development was handled by Rockstar North in Edinburgh, who had just completed GTA IV. They claimed the game would have the same impact on gaming as the original GTA.
Nothing more was heard of about 'Agent' until it was quietly canceled in August 2014.
Skip forward 14 years from its announcement, and amid GTA VI hype (the game was finally confirmed a few weeks ago, and the first trailer dropped on Monday), a former Rockstar North developer spilled some of the 'Agent' beans on a personal blog. The site has since been taken down, apparently by the request of upset former colleagues, rather than legal threats from Rockstar as the gaming press had speculated.
"Rockstar San Diego was working on a James Bond-style game. Leslie Benzies (then president of Rockstar North) was keen to do something along those lines. We did a demo doing some spy stuff in San Andreas. I think there was a hang glider and a car turning into a submarine or something."
"It impressed Rockstar San Diego and New York and we started working on it. The idea was that the team in North would roughly be split down the middle. Half of us would work on the next GTA and the other half on 'Agent'."
"Internally the project was known as Jimmy. It was a James Bond game and Jimmy is the Scottish version of James. The game was to be set in the 1970s, and be more linear than GTA with several locations. There was a French Mediterranean city, A Swiss ski resort, Cairo, and at the end, there would be a big shootout with lasers in space. Classic James Bond. The vibe was very cool."
"We got going on this one and worked on it for over a year. I remember working on a downhill skiing chase scene with guns for instance. The game wasn't progressing as well as we had hoped. It was inevitable that eventually, the whole company would have to get behind the next GTA. We tried to cut the game down in an attempt the get the bulk of it done before the inevitable call from New York would come. We cut out an entire level (I think Cairo) and maybe even the space section."
"It became clear that Jimmy was going to be too much of a distraction for us and we ditched it. I think it was handed over to another company within Rockstar but never got completed."
Very little has been seen of 'Agent' outside Rockstar, and knowing how secretive the studio is about its projects, it's likely we never will.