Kevin Bruner, co-founder of The Walking Dead studio Telltale Games, says that he'd love to develop a James Bond game. Someone please make this happen.
"I'm a giant James Bond fan and I'm always frustrated by games that make him a mass murderer," Bruner told OXM UK. "He's a super-spy, and that's a different skillset. The films make him less of a mass murderer, and there's not much killing in the books - more spying and intrigue."
The gaming industry hasn't been kind to 007. Most James Bond games have been forgettable shooters with a driving sequence or two. Let's not even talk about 007 Racing.
GoldenEye 64 is one of the best console shooters ever made but it doesn't really do the character justice. Bond is still a mindless killing machine. He might use a silencer on occasion to avoid alarms but that's about as brainy and sophisticated as he gets. The GoldenEye 64 incarnation of Bond is no different than any other first-person shooter hero; he's just a gun pointed toward the world.
A Bond game built by Telltale Games would be different, though. They don't make action games. The studio focuses on narrative-driven experiences that are heavy on conversation and puzzles. Telltale wouldn't turn Bond into a pacifist - he's got a license to kill, after all - but they could present a more well-rounded Bond than any other game to date.
Telltale could even outdo the films. The Bond movies have to rush through the plot to hit their quotas for car chases, sex scenes and product placement in two hours. The first season of The Walking Dead game was five times that long. Telltale would have the time to develop a more complicated storyline. They could also flesh out characters that make only passing appearances in the movies like Felix or Moneypenny.
Sadly, I'm not sure when Telltale would find the time to make a James Bond game. They're already juggling four different series. Wolf Among Us' first season and The Walking Dead' second season each have four episodes left. Telltale plans to premiere their Game of Thrones and Borderlands games this year as well. If these games are all well-received, I imagine they'll continue pumping out new seasons in later years. Would it be possible for them to add a fifth series to their portfolio?
The other roadblock to a Bond game is the license. Telltale would need to convince MGM, the owner of the Bond franchise, to let them develop 007 games. Their exclusive agreement with Activision seems to have expired so Telltale might have a shot. Telltale has already proven with Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead that they can craft great interactive stores based on other people's franchises. It's just a question of whether they can offer the kind of money that MGM wants for the license. MGM might want too much money for the license, though.