So you're one of the biggest console companies in the world and your new handheld has so far been a flop, you've got a game coming up for it that's a handheld instalment in one of the biggest franchises in the world, you need it to be good because it could singlehandedly save your new system.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is the game and the PS Vita is the system. Unfortunately though Call of Duty for the Vita just doesn't look very good. The graphics don't seem to live up to what the Vita is capable of and the multiplayer only supports 8 players and is very bare bones, that might be good for a handheld but people look at Call of Duty as a big multiplayer game and they might see 8 players as a bit of a let down.
The other big problem is its being developed by Nihilistic, the same people that made Resistance: Burning Skies, the one that was an absolute flop. Of course there is the chance that they had to rush that game in order to work on Call of Duty for the Vita but from the signs shown so far then if that is the case it hasn't worked, they weren't even confident enough to show it until Gamescom, three months before release. Think about the fact that usually a blockbuster title, like Call of Duty, starts having details, screenshots and maybe even trailers thrown out months and months in advance, not three months. This is very worrying, there is a clear lack of confidence in this game.
To further add to the worry Acitivson seem to have very little knowledge of the game and don't really seem very involved at all, with their community manager Dan Amrich essentially knowing nothing about the game, not even it's frame rate, links to the Elite service or the inclusion of Zombies. Again, this is very worrying.
Call of Duty on the Vita needs to be good, a big name like Call of Duty could generate huge sales for the system (there will be a CoD/Vita bundle) and if it's successful then it could entice other third party developers to develop games for the Vita, and everyone knows that the Vita is desperately in need of big name third party games. Sony can't afford for this to flop and yet every move that they and Acitivision seem to have made with the game so far has been a stumble rather than a sure footed step in the right direction. Why get one of your weakest studios to create what is your handhelds most important game?
Now I am not a big Call of Duty fan but I recognise the importance in this game, it has to be good or the Vita will struggle even more than it is now to find the success that it deserves. Of course I haven't actually played the game yet, so perhaps we will all be pleasantly surprised but, certainly from how Sony and Activison have acted and what they've shown, the future does not look bright for Call of Duty on the Vita or for the Vita itself.
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