Rare’s two N64 first-person shooters, GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, received strong acclaim from critics and players, and demand for another title in the Perfect Dark franchise was high. Development of Perfect Dark Zero began on the Nintendo GameCube. At the time, Nintendo had a 49% stake in Rare, making Rare a Nintendo second-party developer. The game made a small appearance at Spaceworld 2000, an event exclusive to Nintendo. But apart from the confirmation that it was in development, few official announcements were made. Perfect Dark Zero, along with several other Rare games, was intended to be finished in time for the Gamecube’s launch, but did not.
In September 2002, after losing a steady trickle of staff for two years (including many of their Goldeneye 007 team members, who went on to found Free Radical), Rare Ltd was purchased by Microsoft. Around the same time, Rare released several images of Joanna Dark, the protagonist of the Perfect Dark games. The “cartoony” style of these pictures incited speculation that the final game — then intended for the original Xbox — would employ a less realistic graphical style than the original game; possibly an anime like cel-shading technique, (RARE had hired UK Manga artist Wil Overton to work with them, after seeing an anime-like image of the Original Perfect Dark game he had created for the cover of N64 Magazine.)
Development of the title was later transferred to the Xbox 360. Perfect Dark Zero’s senior designer Chris Tilston (also one of the project leads for the game) later revealed that the Xbox version was “about twelve months away” from completion when the switch occurred.
In 2005, one of the rewards in the OurColony viral marketing campaign for Microsoft’s next Xbox video game console was an image of Joanna Dark. At the official unveiling of the Xbox 360 on May 12, 2005, it was revealed that Perfect Dark Zero would be a launch title for the new system in the fall of 2005. The game’s development has therefore spanned three platforms: the Nintendo GameCube, the Microsoft Xbox and the Xbox 360.” – [info from wikipedia]
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