Activision will have exclusive rights to 007 games for seven years starting from September 2007. Activision also has the rights to make Bond games not connected to new films.
Variety also confirms the cancellation of EA’s Casino Royale (first reported on CBn), saying the publisher not being able to make the game cost MGM millions in license fees. Insiders indicated that decision, along with a shift in EA corporate strategy, led to the two canceling their deal.
“No game means no revenue, and, for the first year, the consumer products team was left high and dry,” said one person close to the deal.
Insiders said Activision was the No. 2 bidder for Bond in 2003, making it a natural to take the license now. “We looked at a very selective group of potential partners,” noted MGM exec VP of consumer products Travis Rutherfor.
The 21 Bond videogames published since 1983 have sold some 30 million units overall. The new Activision deal is worth around $50 million, according to insiders.
In what may turn out to be related news, an unconfirmed report in Britain’s Daily Express newspaper claims Eon is planning on releasing Bond 22 in 2007. The paper quotes a source as saying, “The next one will be in 2007 – Bond’s year. It will mean back-to-back shooting but then the next film will pick up where Casino Royale leaves off anyway.”