Earlier today, Activision pulled three of its games based on the James Bond film franchise from its own digital store as well as Steam’s digital storefront, all without notice.
The sudden and mysterious absence of the three titles, 007: Quantum of Solace from Treyarch, 007 Legends from developer Eurocom and Bizarre Creations’ James Bond 007: Blood Stone, was first spotted by video game blog NeoGamr this afternoon.
The disappearance of the James Bond titles is a bit strange. Electronic Arts abandoned the license in early 2006, and publishing rival Activision was quick to grab it, making it official in May of that year. However, the license wasn’t set to expire until 2014.
It’s possible, IGN points out, that Activision simply ditched the license because it didn’t have faith that it could make use of it.
None of the three games did particularly well in sales, and they received even less success with critics. 007 Legends was almost universally panned. Treyarch and Bizarre Creations’ attempts didn’t fare much better, receiving reviews that were, at best, lukewarm.
The first title to come out, 007: Quantum of Solace, was Activision’s attempt to get off to a strong start. The publisher tasked Call of Duty series co-developers Treyarch with the job. Treyarch was a good pick, but ultimately the developer fell short at developing something that could catch on with the masses.
Activision tried it again in 2010, releasing both James Bond 007: Blood Stone and 007 GoldenEye. The latter was an attempt at capitalizing on gamers’ nostalgia for GoldenEye 64. The bet didn’t pay off in the end, even after Activision had the game ported to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as 007 GoldenEye Reloaded.
If Activision has anything to say about the titles’ disappearance, we’ll let you know.