Vicarious Visions were initially behind Call of Duty for Vita

#1
Call of Duty for PlayStation Vita was announced before there even was a PlayStation Vita. Philip Earl, general manager at Activision announced that Call of Duty would hit the then codenamed NGP (Next Generation Portable) back in January of 2011. Almost instantly the game was hyped as a major release for the handheld. So how did it become one of the worst reviewed major games of 2012? Well, thanks to Kotaku's story about Guitar Hero 7, the picture seems to be a lot clearer:

The studio (Vicarious Visions) was also working on a Vita version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II before that project, which my source said was flawed, was moved to another studio.
That other studio would be Nihilistic Software, who earlier in 2012 developed Resistance: Burning Skies, the first FPS on Vita. The studio hinted that work began on the project before they were given it:

Superannuation would later reveal that the studio only had 5 months to put together a game. Which is likely why Nihilistic were given the job, as they were the only ones with an FPS engine running on Vita. It would also explain why the game was announced at E3 without a single shred of media, or why it was released with so many issues from the single player missions lasting under an hour combined, to a lackluster multiplayer component. The only thing it doesn't explain is why the game had to come out this year.

After Black Ops: Declassified shipped Nihilistic reformed under the nStigate Games name, and left the physical video game development world.
 
#5
  • Acti announced COD Vita, begins development
  • Sony touts its name, calls it out at shows, makes it known
  • Activision drops the project for reasons unknown
  • Sony swoops in and gives the project to Nihilistic at the last minute.

Seems to pretty much be it.

E: Apparently i was imagining reading about a 3 game deal. But still, this probably isn't far off.
 
#6
Jesus, it must have been an absolute fucking wreck for Activision to cancel it, and get the jobbers at Nihilistic to pick up the slack.
Or they decided it wasn't worth it to continue because its a Vita game and Vita wasn't selling well and then Sony offered them money and a studio who already has an engine if they will release it.
 
#7
  • Acti announced COD Vita, begins development
  • Sony touts its name, calls it out at shows, makes it known
  • Activision drops the project for reasons unknown
  • Sony swoops in and gives the project to Nihilistic at the last minute, as they had made an FPS on Vita and still had one game to make for Sony.

Seems to pretty much be it.
The reason unknown would be the sales of the VITA,i guess activision didn't wanted it to hit this year but sony forced them to.
 
#9
  • Acti announced COD Vita, begins development
  • Sony touts its name, calls it out at shows, makes it known
  • Activision drops the project for reasons unknown
  • Sony swoops in and gives the project to Nihilistic at the last minute, as they had made an FPS on Vita and still had one game to make for Sony.

Seems to pretty much be it.
You've said this twice, but is there any evidence that Sony had a x game deal with Nihilistic? I know they made PlayStation Move Heroes, and Resistance: Burning Skies, but how did you know it's a 3 game deal? Or are you just assuming based off of the deals with other studios?
 
#11
You've said this twice, but is there any evidence that Sony had a x game deal with Nihilistic? I know they made PlayStation Move Heroes, and Resistance: Burning Skies, but how did you know it's a 3 game deal? Or are you just assuming based off of the deals with other studios?
Was i imagining reading it somewhere? Probably. Ha, sorry. Was sure i read it somewhere :)
 
#14
What i've heard from folks (two, to be exact) inside sony is similar but it's more like...


*Activision tried to scale down the COD engine to fit on the vita, something that Sony said wasn't a good idea but activision did anyway. From what I hear they worked on it for 18 months(!).

*It didn't work.

*Sony sent over Nihilistic to start from scratch using the engine they just created for resistance.

*They created the entire game from the middle of May to the middle of October.

*The reason it *had* to come out this year was because the contract the two (sony and activision) signed stipulated that it would come out at this time and sony paid 12 million in marketing as part of this contract. Basically, it sounds like its a clusterfuck to change a release date when there is a contract between two huge entities like this.

*Ive also heard from multiple people that it was 100% activision's call to charge $50.



All things considered the game is actually pretty fun for something in development for 5 months. It's certainly not $50 worth of fun though.



And if I'm sony I'm not particularly happy with activision right now.
 
#16
the stories of how declassified was made in like 6 months make so much sense, its no wonder its a shoddy bare bones pos game that costs way too much.

Should have just taken some choice maps from the old games and fix them up a bit and made a short but good campaign, I'd have been fine with a 4 hour single player mode. Could have based it on world at war, I'm starting to miss ww2.
 
#18
I'm surprised VV weren't hit hard after losing two projects.

Hope they're still underway with whatever Project Atlantis, Phoenix, and Nova are.

Please let one be Crash related. :(
 
#20
$12 million? What the fuck. How much would it have cost to get Monster Hunter? Did Sony not realize that just a name on the box doesn't push games?
 
#21
*Activision tried to scale down the COD engine to fit on the vita, something that Sony said wasn't a good idea but activision did anyway. From what I hear they worked on it for 18 months(!).

*It didn't work.
This concerns me as much as anything if it's true. I know it isn't always desirable to get a port of a game as opposed to an original title but in certain cases I think it's the smarter move, and Black Ops 2 seems like one of those cases. One of Sony's huge selling points for the Vita prior to its release was how easy it was to develop for and how simple it should be to get PS3 games running on it. What is keeping this from being a reality, I wonder? It's troubling.
 
#22
This concerns me as much as anything if it's true. I know it isn't always desirable to get a port of a game as opposed to an original title but in certain cases I think it's the smarter move, and Black Ops 2 seems like one of those cases. One of Sony's huge selling points for the Vita prior to its release was how easy it was to develop for and how simple it should be to get PS3 games running on it. What is keeping this from being a reality, I wonder? It's troubling.
Maybe they just flat out lied?
 
#23
And if I'm sony I'm not particularly happy with activision right now.
Activision has be screwing Sony over with the CoD games for awhile now. It's tough for Activision to be objective with it, when they are so tight with MS for the series. I imagine this would have turned out completely different if this was MS's handheld device....
 
#25
This concerns me as much as anything if it's true. I know it isn't always desirable to get a port of a game as opposed to an original title but in certain cases I think it's the smarter move, and Black Ops 2 seems like one of those cases. One of Sony's huge selling points for the Vita prior to its release was how easy it was to develop for and how simple it should be to get PS3 games running on it. What is keeping this from being a reality, I wonder? It's troubling.
Probably not powerful enough
 
#26
A true portable Call Of Duty could have been a game changer - and don't get me wrong Wii U fans, I respect the effort TreyArch has put into BLOPS2 and it looks pretty cool, but a "real" good handheld Call Of Duty would be interesting for once.
 
#27
This concerns me as much as anything if it's true. I know it isn't always desirable to get a port of a game as opposed to an original title but in certain cases I think it's the smarter move, and Black Ops 2 seems like one of those cases. One of Sony's huge selling points for the Vita prior to its release was how easy it was to develop for and how simple it should be to get PS3 games running on it. What is keeping this from being a reality, I wonder? It's troubling.
CoD engine runs like a hot mess on more powerful platforms like PS3. Not entirely surprising it was doing worse on a weaker platform.
 
#29
Probably not powerful enough
So the MGS4 demo was basically a scam, then? I don't understand why it shouldn't be powerful enough to run something like Black Ops 2 with some minor tweaks to the graphics (they could even shoot for 30 fps as opposed to 60, for starters).

CoD engine runs like a hot mess on more powerful platforms like PS3. Not entirely surprising it was doing worse on a weaker platform.
It's not that bad. All of the CoD games I own are on PS3 and I think they run fine 99% of the time.
 
#30
$12 million? What the fuck. How much would it have cost to get Monster Hunter? Did Sony not realize that just a name on the box doesn't push games?
I agree, it seems insane. The deal with ubi for AC3L was likely similar (though I haven't heard that directly). What Ive been told is that Sony's big plan for this holiday was having these "huge" franchises as pack in games. Whether or not that pans out in hardware sales remains to be seen. But I think we know how it's gonna turn out.


It was a bold move, it just wasn't a smart one. COD doesn't equal money. COD is on everything from the DS to my freakin phone. The only place it's absurdly popular is on consoles. I don't know why Sony thought it was such a coup to get it on its handheld.
 
#31
$12 million? What the fuck. How much would it have cost to get Monster Hunter? Did Sony not realize that just a name on the box doesn't push games?
Well obviously when they signed the contract they expected it to be a good game, as well as have a big name.
 
#32
Yeah seems like Activision fucked Sony over good. That CoD brand still pushed a number of Vitas I'm sure, but it's pretty dumb that Activision can still pull some nonsense like that.
 
#35
I agree, it seems insane. The deal with ubi for AC3L was likely similar (though I haven't heard that directly). What Ive been told is that Sony's big plan for this holiday was having these "huge" franchises as pack in games. Whether or not that pans out in hardware sales remains to be seen. But I think we know how it's gonna turn out.

It was a bold move, it just wasn't a smart one. COD doesn't equal money. COD is on everything from the DS to my freakin phone. The only place it's absurdly popular is on consoles. I don't know why Sony thought it was such a coup to get it on its handheld.
Paying for exclusive entries in western franchises for a handheld (outside of GTA) was a stupid idea in the first place. There were Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed games on PSP that didn't exactly send that platform into the sales stratosphere, so why did they think the story would suddenly be different on Vita?
 
#36
CoD engine runs like a hot mess on more powerful platforms like PS3. Not entirely surprising it was doing worse on a weaker platform.
CoD runs just fine on the Wii.

Paying for exclusive entries in western franchises for a handheld (outside of GTA) was a stupid idea in the first place. There were Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed games on PSP that didn't exactly send that platform into the sales stratosphere, so why did they think the story would suddenly be different on Vita?
In 2012, Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty are the biggest third party franchises on Playstation. AC didn't do much for the PSP because the game was nothing like AC, and the platform was already dead.
 
#37
If Criterion could get Need For Speed Most Wanted (entire open world, the day and night cycles, good visuals, decent traffic populations, etc) to sing on Vita - then Activision are as inept as anyone could be, with 18 months and nothing to show.

Hell, and COD gameplay is generally linear and shit. Not like what Criterion were tasked with.

Some devs have it, others don't.


Paying for exclusive entries in western franchises for a handheld (outside of GTA) was a stupid idea in the first place. There were Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed games on PSP that didn't exactly send that platform into the sales stratosphere, so why did they think the story would suddenly be different on Vita?

Because these series' are sales success stories in the west, have only gotten bigger and stronger audiences in the time since.

Hell, look at COD breaking entertainment media records, it's easy to see why Sony thought this was a better coup than niche Japanese games.

Sony was misplaced to an extent, but I'm not going to parrot what anti Vita owners do (don't own one, haven't tried one, etc.) when slamming the platform and translate that to CODBLOPD:

I own it. It's not abysmal or terrible. It could use a few more ops missions and multiplayer maps, but I play it a little each day and I never liked COD a whole lot, so this says something - that I like the game this much.
 
#39
12 million in marketing doesn't seem that bad to be honest even if the game sucked.

I have been seeing plenty of Vita adverts here in Ireland on Irish and UK TV. Some just for COD vita and another that shows COD and AC and Need for Speed.

They probably should be spending more then that anyway. Remember when MS announced they where spending 500 million on Kinect + 360 adverts? Makes 12 mill seem small in comparison.



I do hope there are plans for a prober activision developed COD vita though. Even if its made by a C team it will be better then what Nihilistic did since they will get more access to the actual COD code and dev team to consult on things if they need it.
Treyarch did not sound like they had any idea what was going on with Declassified when ever someone asked which seemed dumb.
 
#40
The thing is... it being a good game only really matters to us. It wouldn't have sold a ton more, IMO, if it was a good game. People who wanted it bought it on name alone. If COD was going to move units, the comercial right now with the dudes playing it on the vita out in public would be moving units. We can tell the game is shit from that commercial but the general public can't.


Good word of mouth would have created better long term sales, but for the month of november the quality of the game had no bearing (again, imo) on how many it sold.


Im hoping for sony's sake it moved some hardware but Im not holding my breath. Black friday #s were ok. It's no surprise that almost all of those deals were with AC3L though.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
#41
Sony proved to be dumbasses here and activison took advantage.
well this is SCEA/Jack Tretton fault I guess.

no wonder why SCEA don't support Vita,they made a huge mistake early on putting all their Vita budget into one-third party- game.
 
#42
If Criterion could get Need For Speed Most Wanted (entire open world, the day and night cycles, good visuals, decent traffic populations, etc) to sing on Vita - then Activision are as inept as anyone could be, with 18 months and nothing to show.

Hell, and COD gameplay is generally linear and shit. Not like what Criterion were tasked with.

Some devs have it, others don't.
Agreed. Vicarious Visions (if it was in fact them. TBH my sony guys never told me who at activision were working on it before Nihilistic) is no Criterion. What Criterion pulled off with NFSvita is pretty damn amazing.
 
#43
If Criterion could get Need For Speed Most Wanted (entire open world, the day and night cycles, good visuals, decent traffic populations, etc) to sing on Vita - then Activision are as inept as anyone could be, with 18 months and nothing to show.

Hell, and COD gameplay is generally linear and shit. Not like what Criterion were tasked with.

Some devs have it, others don't.
Yeah. Quake 3 engine games have no excuse to not run on the 3DS, never mind the Vita.
 
#44
There is no way that the game was being worked on for 18 months and then they suddenly realised it didn't work,nothing was shown of it either.
 
#45
If Criterion could get Need For Speed Most Wanted (entire open world, the day and night cycles, good visuals, decent traffic populations, etc) to sing on Vita - then Activision are as inept as anyone could be, with 18 months and nothing to show.

Hell, and COD gameplay is generally linear and shit. Not like what Criterion were tasked with.

Some devs have it, others don't.
NFS:MW is great and on par with the console on most aspects.

So if Sony paid 12 million for COD Vita I wonder how much Capcom would get for Monster Hunter.
 
#46
Vicarious Visions used to do some crazy stuff with the DS Tony Hawk games. The online stuff in particular was pretty remarkable back then.
 
#48
NFS:MW is great and on par with the console on most aspects.

So if Sony paid 12 million for COD Vita I wonder how much Capcom would get for Monster Hunter.
Those 12 million dollars were used to advertise the Vita during the holiday season. It's money Sony would have to spend anyway.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
#49
If Criterion could get Need For Speed Most Wanted (entire open world, the day and night cycles, good visuals, decent traffic populations, etc) to sing on Vita - then Activision are as inept as anyone could be, with 18 months and nothing to show.

Hell, and COD gameplay is generally linear and shit. Not like what Criterion were tasked with.

Some devs have it, others don't.

Stopped reading right here. Yeah, Criterion did a decent job of downporting, but "decent traffic populations" is not in the game. The populations is sparse and barely there. They had to do that due to draw distance/pop-in and to prevent people from slamming into traffic on the system.

It's definitely not 1:1 with the console versions. More like .5:1 so before you go shooting ATVI for not doing it, you have to remember that while Criterion tried it isn't a total console experience that Sony sells.

Just like if FPS on the system would drop grenades (tap/drag to throw, WHY.jpg) the gameplay would improve, so did Criterion nearly axing traffic and shit for performance reasons.
 
#50
There is no way that the game was being worked on for 18 months and then they suddenly realised it didn't work,nothing was shown of it either.
It wasn't a sudden realization. Activision just didn't care.


The moral of this story as far as I can tell is what we already know. Sony is dumb and Activision are assholes.