GoldenEye 007 was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and quickly became one of the console’s most popular games in most of the world. It was never, however, released in Germany.
Prior to its release, Germany classified GoldenEye as “media harmful to young persons” and included it on a list of games that were banned from being sold or marketed in the country for 25 years. But it’s only been 24 years, and the game’s now unbanned.
It’s not happenstance. GoldenEye has been manually removed from the list at the request of an entity with some claim to the game, presumably Nintendo or an associate of theirs.
In a similar set of circumstances, Blood Rayne 1 & 2 were removed from the list when remasters of the two games were announced. (Which will be released on November 18.) GoldenEye is unlikely to be getting a remaster because of its complex licensing problems, but it’s possibly being rereleased.
Fans of the franchise have pointed out that the game would be a natural addition to the new Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, which focuses on classic games and includes nine from the N64 catalog. GoldenEye could be an opportunity for Nintendo to appease the players that have been frustrated by the technical issues currently plaguing the pack’s games.
Ideally, Nintendo would put a bit more polish into a GoldenEye port.
Another link between the game’s unbanning and its rerelease is what happened to zombie-shooter Dying Light last fortnight. Its Switch port launched in America and Asia, but not in Europe; its developers apparently forgot that it was banned in Germany in 2015, and because Nintendo’s European offices are in Germany, it couldn’t be sold digitally anywhere on the continent.
It’s probable that Nintendo learned from the mishap and petitioned to have GoldenEye unbanned early to prevent any problems. It would’ve been unfortunate if, after almost a quarter of a century, the game couldn’t have had the global release it deserves.