Activision have been granted the rights to create videogames under the James Bond licence by MGM and EON Productions...

Activision Acquire James Bond Video Game Rights
3rd May 2006

Activision today announced that they are under license to produce James Bond video games until 2014. Activision officially announced the news in a press release today.

MGM Interactive and EON Productions Ltd. have awarded Activision Inc. the rights to develop and publish interactive entertainment games based on the James Bond license through 2014.


This marriage of best-in-class intellectual property and next-generation gaming expertise continues the Bond franchise's long legacy of providing thrills to audiences around the globe. Since the initial release of Dr. No in 1962, James Bond films have grossed more than $3.6 billion theatrically worldwide and approximately 30 million units of video games based on the world of James Bond have been sold to date. James Bond continues to delight audiences worldwide with a quintessential blend of action, glamour and sophisticated style synonymous with top secret agent 007.

"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."

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.

"MGM Interactive continues to work with best in class publishing and development teams, to ensure we deliver both memorable and fully immersive interactive gaming experiences for both core and mass-market gamers," said Travis Rutherford, MGM's executive vice president, Consumer Products and Location-Based Entertainment. "Activision's proven expertise in developing cutting edge games, their core competency in managing large movie franchises combined with the global appeal of the James Bond property, will create a new benchmark for the next-generation gaming experience. We are excited to be partnered with Activision and look forward to a long and mutually successful partnership."

"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.

EA Exits
After a publishing eight Bond titles over seven years the studio has broken away from one of it's earliest licenses. With sales of the last two EA titles performing below expectation, Activiation will have to deliver above and beyond past titles. Before this decision, EA had held the rights until 2010.

EA 007 Titles


Gaming website ShackNews reports that when contacted about the specific details of the agreement, Activision said that the Bond rights will not become exclusive to the publisher until September 2007. Presumably, until that point, EA will still be able to release its own Bond games. However, based on comments made by an EA representative speaking to Shacknews, the company may not want to. Apparently, EA simply opted out of the exclusivity agreement based on a desire to move away from licensed properties:

"EA had an agreement that was set to expire in 2009 (sic). We decided to conclude our agreement with [licensors] MGM and EON. It was a good relationship, and we made a lot of great games over the years. Movie games will always be a part of our portfolio, but EA is moving away from licensed properties and committing our studios more towards internal IP. The resources and creative control afforded by fully owned properties allow us to deliver the kinds of game experiences our customers want."

MGM returned Shacknews' request for comments, going into a bit more detail as far as the reason for the license change. With EA's previously noted change in focus away from licensed properties, MGM put the Bond property on the market for a select group of major publishers and allowing Activision to pick up the rights. It is unlikely that any new Bond games will surface before Activision's exclusivity begins in 2007. This, combined with what an MGM representative described as more of a focus on narrative in the upcoming Bond film Casino Royale, means that we will not be seeing a new Bond video game until the film following Casino Royale.