MI6 can reveal that James Bond 007 will return in... From Russia With Love - by EA Games in late 2005 / early 2006.

James Bond 007: "From Russia With Love" by EA Games
22nd January 2005

James Bond 007 will return in... From Russia With Love - by EA Games!

Ever since Electronic Arts obtained the licence to create James Bond games, the preferred project was always a game based upon a classic movie, but Eon Productions and MGM's modus operandi of "always moving forwards, never going back" has until now prevented this. Several variables in the 007 franchise have recently aligned to green-light a classic Bond videogame.

Sean Connery's second outing as James Bond in the 1963 film From Russia With Love will be the title and basis of the next 007 video game from EA Games. Expected for released in late 2005 / early 2006, the title will ship on the Microsoft Xbox , Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube platforms.


EA's last 007 game Everything or Nothing lost 30% of its potential revenue due to missing the scheduled release date November 2003 according to an EA financial report press release (it shipped late in February 2004), so ideally EA would prefer to release the game in November 2005 when the market is hottest. But a release date is yet to be confirmed, so it is unclear exactly when the game will ship.

Why Connery?
Marketing surveys have consistently identified Sean Connery as the 007 most gamers would like to play as. Roger Moore would be another popular choice, and was in fact the original plan when EA started work on the PS2 for Agent Under Fire. Unfortunately for Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby, they do not hold enough gravitas in the USA to justify selection ahead of the other options.

Above: This iconic image Sean Connery as James Bond in "From Russia With Love" was used on the recent Penguin Modern Classics re-release of the Ian Fleming novel.

A Fateful Year
Up until late last year, the next 007 videogame was titled Bond6 - following the movie tradition of numbering the next installment (1: Tomorrow Never Dies, 2: The World Is Not Enough, 3: Agent Under Fire, 4: NightFire, 5: Everything or Nothing. Note: 007Racing and GoldenEye: Rogue Agent are considered spin-offs of the licence and not counted in the lineage of James Bond games by EA).

EA Games had started conceptual work on Bond6 before Everything or Nothing had been completed in 2003. Most of the CGI cut scenes and original storyline had been completed with James Bond cast as a younger, GoldenEye era, Pierce Brosnan. Unfortunately for EA, after a lot of the work had been done, Brosnan publicly stepped down from his 007 role in late 2004 and the project was instantly thrown into flux.

Without a definite name playing 007, the Bond6 project could not move forward. Even if the name of the actor to play the sixth Bond had been officially announced by Eon Productions, the timescale for game development and the politics involved would have prevented 007 #6 from making his debut in a game before the 21st Bond movie went before theatre audiences.

Since Brosnan publicly distanced himself from the role late last year, and despite being optioned for another 007 game from EA, the series will now move ahead without the Irish actor. Even if Brosnan was signed on to play in 007 in Bond6, the possibility of the next actor being announced as 007 during development or release of the game would be a marketing disaster.

Another option would have been to use a "synthetic" generic Bond (as with Agent Under Fire), but using the third person perspective and casting known Hollywood actors in secondary roles (ala Everything or Nothing) would have led to a disjointed composition.

That's not to say work on Bond6 has been wasted. CGI work has already been reused, in the guise of GoldenEye: Rogue Agent television commercials.

Bruce Feirstein (pictured opposite), who scripted that last Bond game Everything or Nothing, and worked on Brosnan's first three 007 film outings, has been onboard the Bond6 project since at least October 2004 to work on the original storyline.

Speaking to Written By magazine late last year, Feirstein said "[This] second experience was the dream date: We know we need this number of levels, we know we need this to happen. Here's the money, go create."

Talking about his experience on the Everything or Nothing project, Feirstein commented "I got that phone call. I came into it late. They were bolting things into the game afterwards, shifting points of exposition. It would be like endless reshoots in a movie because they hadn't gotten the story right the first time."


Development of the game will take place at EA Redwood studios (USA) and will ship in late 2005 / early 2006 for Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. An official announcement of the game is expected sometime in Q1 2005. It is unclear how faithful EA's videogame of "From Russia With Love" will be to the 1963 film.

Related Articles
From Russia With Love
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
James Bond 007: NightFire
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent

Images courtesy Amazon Associates, Penguin.