Recently, Vita owners received Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified—a game that launched to somewhat mixed results. It seems, however, that Sony’s handheld was originally meant to get a proper version of Black Ops II.
In a look today at developer Vicarious Visions, Kotaku talks about the studio’s work on what was going to be Guitar Hero 7. It’s a pretty fascinating read—and interesting to hear about what went wrong with the ill-fated final mainline Guitar Hero project.
Buried in that story, however, is this even more interesting statement:
“The studio 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.”
When Sony helped unveil Black Ops Declassified at E3, it was a big deal–but it was also surprising that the game would be a side-project, and not a proper version of the upcoming Black Ops II. If this statement is correct, then Black Ops II was in development in some capacity on the Vita.
So, what happened? At some point, the game moved to Nihilistic Software (now reformed under their new name, nStigate Games). The studio also produced Resistance: Burning Skies for the Vita, so the team definitely had experience with getting first-person shooters working on the hardware. Nihilistic Software may not have been the first developer to be called upon after the Vita version of Black Ops II was pulled from Vicarious Visions—and given that Burning Skies only came out in May of this year, rumors that Nihilistic only had a short time to put something together seem very possible.
Thus, it seems that Black Ops Declassified‘s trouble began long before it was Black Ops Declassified—and back when it was still planned as a Vita interpretation of Black Ops II.