MGM’s New Bond With Activision

by Nitin M

In quite a surprising turn of events, MGM Interactive and EON Productions have signed a deal with none other than Activision giving the latter the rights to develop and publish games based on the James Bond franchise.

The former rights holders, Electronic Arts, issued a statement confirming the deal. The interesting thing is neither MGM nor EON mentioning why they decided to move the license to Activision. EA’s only response was that it was part of their efforts to produce more original content and rely less on movie based games.

Considering that only a couple of EA developed Bond titles have received critical acclaim, the rest being also rans with a lot of marketing muscle, there are two potential scenarios that I can think of as to why this happened:

Scenario 1: MGM and EON believe that EA’s creative department has run out of fresh ideas on scenarios for Her Majesty’s most popular employee. This may be evident from the fact that EA’s non-Bond fiction material like GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Agent Under Fire and Everything or Nothing met with only lukewarm success. EA then turned back and looked at popular Bond-lore and released From Russia With Love on multiple platforms which again has received a lukewarm response. Hence the decision to move the rights to a company like Activision who have had some success marketing large movie blockbuster franchises like Spider-Man, X-Men and animated series like Shrek, Shark Tale, etc.

Scnario 2: MGM and EON asked EA for more money for the privilege of publishing the Bond franchise in the interactive space. EA must’ve balked at the figure considering how they fared with Commander Bond in the past. To add to that, the public outcry over the choice of Daniel Craig as the new Bond might have helped EA make the decision to give up the rights.

All in all, I haven’t heard anybody answer the actual question. Only PR fluff has been heard.