In 1998, Codemasters was apparently working on a James Bond game, according to a former developer who co-designed the project.
Ex-Codemasters developer Alex Darby revealed on Twitter today, 'I co-designed a Bond game in 1998(ish) at Codies,' he said, before going on to describe the project as '3rd person, Hitman-ish (but pre-hitman).'
Darby then went on to note that Codemasters were offered the Bond licence for a relatively small sum: 'IIRC Codies were offered the (timed) exclusive license for ALL historical Bond stuff (exc. Goldeneye obvs.) for ~£45k! Needless to say bizdev dropped the ball on it…'
What's interesting about this time frame is that it would have been just before EA picked up the video game licence for Bond (in 1999), and just after Tomorrow Never Dies was released in cinemas (in 1997).
Could we have had a 'Hitman-ish' Tomorrow Never Dies tie-in game before EA's version – which was, sadly, very rubbish? It's also worth noting that, with Codemasters at the helm, we would likely have had some very tasty driving missions – Colin McRae Rally and TOCA Touring Car Championship were already out at that point.
All this came out because of my own feverish musings on the fate of Bond games, and Darby was commenting on the notion of less shooty Bond games. What a tempting glimpse into something that could have been…