'Perfect Dark' - The Cursed History Of 'GoldenEye 007's Follow-Up Game

Maybe it's a fitting curse for naming your main character Joanna Dark.
'Perfect Dark' - The Cursed History Of 'GoldenEye 007's Follow-Up Game

Back in 2000, Nintendo-friendly developer Rareware proved they could not only redo the lightning in a bottle that was Goldeneye 007 but even surpass it – and not just because they cut the cowardly cheating option Oddjob. Unrestrained from a licensed property, Rare sure did indulge in their creating when creating the masterful Area 51 conspiracy theorist's wet dream that was Perfect Dark. Rare's only mistake was being too good at its job to avoid the predatory eye of Microsoft, which quickly acquired the company and tasked its devs with the creation of a follow-up to the N64 original. Whether due to Halo and Call Of Duty completely changing what people wanted from shooters in the meantime, or because Microsoft is nigh impossible to work with,  Perfect Dark Zero turned out certainly not terrible, but far from the killer app that Microsoft wanted for the release of the Xbox 360 back in '05.

Artwork for Perfect Dark Zero


80% of readers are now remembering that this game exists, 20% of them still don't believe it.

Out of spite or purely to fill the yearly quota of bad decisions required in the Steve Ballmer years, Microsoft then sent Perfect Dark to a cryo-chamber and had Rare going from the creator of some of the best games ever made to a vomiter of crappy Kinect titles.

Rare's library

Nintendo, Microsoft

*None of them are based on any of these IPs.

As some might still remember, Microsoft had announced in 2020 that Perfect Dark would be back (again), but we just learned things aren't going very well when it comes to actual game development. 

If two years of total radio silence after the release of the mandatory announcement trailer that shows no gameplay isn't foreboding enough, reports just revealed that things are looking bad. “The Initiative,” the new studio put together by Microsoft to create Perfect Dark Series Z, or whatever the tentative title is, isn't doing well and has already seen the departure of 36 people, out of a total of uh, not many more than that. Now, even the awesome Halo Infinite took over half a decade to make and is still not without its problems so a comeback is possible, but it seems like the Perfect Dark curse is still going strong.

It's important to note that so far, the only good thing to come out of Perfect Dark by the hands of Microsoft is the artwork of the Xbox live remaster of the original game.

Perfect Dark for Xbox Live Arcade


because it gets us all nostalgic for the awful CGI renders of old-timey graphics card box art.

Top Image: Microsoft


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