Considered a classic for the N64, GoldenEye 007 is beloved by fans, yet it has plenty of licensing and legal issues attached to it. Notably, the game has been banned in Germany under the country’s Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors (known as Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien or BPjM in German) since 1998.
Typically, these bans last for 25 years wherein the media in question cannot be sold and advertised to children. With less than two years to go before its ban expired (March 31st, 2023), GoldenEye 007’s ban was suddenly lifted instead on October 29th. As reported by Eurogamer Germany (and Eurogamer), the news quickly spread and brought up speculation concerning GoldenEye 007’s possible digital return. After all, Nintendo has just launched the new + Expansion Pack addition to its Nintendo Switch Online service which features select N64 games you can play on your Nintendo Switch. Throw in the datamine of the service that currently lists 38 N64 titles (mostly blank slots, but sorted alphabetically), the timing makes sense. Yes, we’ve seen some regional differences with Nintendo Switch Online’s NES and SNES services, so Nintendo could do the same with GoldenEye 007. Yet, scoring the title for worldwide availability would no doubt earn them points and paid subscriptions.
What adds more fuel to the speculation fire is that GoldenEye 007 wasn’t the only game to have its ban lifted. In the same announcement, BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2 were listed. This isn’t surprising as it was announced that “ReVamped” versions of both games would be releasing this November. But, with GoldenEye 007 listed alongside two games that are seeing “new” releases this month, it’s a no-brainer that fan speculation is pointing at a possible release on Nintendo Switch Online’s Expansion Pass service.
There’s no official word from Nintendo yet. Besides, the company still has seven previously announced N64 titles that have yet to be added to the service.
Weirdly enough, this isn’t the first time GoldenEye 007 came up in the news this year. Back in February, a canceled version of GoldenEye 007 meant for Xbox Live Arcade surfaced online.
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