Electronic Arts' next foray into the James Bond 007 franchise will be based on the 1995 movie GoldenEye, in a move which sees the company returning to the film which inspired one of the most highly regarded console games of the nineties.
The publisher is expected to unveil the new GoldenEye game at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles this May, and it's expected to be one of the key titles on the company's stand at the event.
The new game is being developed at the EA USA studios in Redwood Shores and Los Angeles, and although EA currently has a publishing agreement with UK developer Free Radical Design, which is made up of the core team that created the critically acclaimed GoldenEye on the N64 while working at Rare, Free Radical is not thought to be working on the project.
"We announced an agreement last year saying that we were going to exploit past, present and future Bond properties across a range of gaming platforms," explained an EA spokesperson this afternoon, "which includes the potential for taking historical Bond content and putting it into a new scenario."
The company declined to provide final confirmation of the GoldenEye title, stating only that "we definitely plan to more Bond games going forward, and we are exploring properties beyond Everything or Nothing, but we haven't announced anything as of right now."
However, the company is adamant that Free Radical, whose forthcoming title TimeSplitters 3 is being published by EA, is not currently contracted to work on the James Bond franchise. "Free Radical is not working on any James Bond games for EA," the spokesperson told us. "We have no plans at the present time to place Bond with another third party that we're working with - Bond products are currently being developed at our Redwood Shores and Los Angeles offices."
"We have signed an agreement with Free Radical for the new TimeSplitters game," he continued. "That is the only agreement currently that EA has signed with Free Radical - whether we do more products with them is still open to question."
Although the company's recent Bond titles have included original plotlines and characters rather than tying in closely with specific films, the company has expressed a desire to use historical content from the 20-movie strong series in its games.
The next Bond title from the company, which is called James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing and is set to be launched later this month, delves into the history of the series and features the character of Jaws, who appeared in a number of the movies in the franchise.
EA last year extended its deal with MGM Interactive and Eon Productions which grants the publisher exclusive worldwide rights to publish videogames based on the James Bond 007 franchise and characters - with the deal now set to run until 2010.