Though they haven’t been in the business all that long developer Nihilistic Software has become known for taking popular console franchises and bringing them into the handheld market. Unfortunately, their first Vita title, Resistance: Burning Skies, was a poorly received, watered down version of Insomniac Games‘ popular, Sony-exclusive franchise.
Despite less-than-favorable reviews, though, Nihilistic was given the task of taking Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, and bringing it too to the PlayStation Vita. Titled Black Ops: Declassified, Nihilistic’s most recent effort is meant to bridge the gap between Treyarch’s two console releases (Black Ops 1 and 2).
However, after Nihilistic completes work on Black Ops: Declassified they will be undergoing a radical transformation. Like many companies that have been struggling in today’s market, Nihilistic will be refocusing on downloadable and mobile titles for the foreseeable future. Not just that, the company will be rebranding themselves as nStigate Games.
The company made the announcement today on their official site, but wanted to ensure that this transition will not impact Black Ops: Declassified. Nihilistic will not become nStigate until December, nearly a month after the aforementioned Vita game launches.
While Nihilistic, as of late, has been known for their PS Vita ports, the company had been around since 2000, and delivered a wide variety of console and PC-based titles. Their first game, Vampire: The Masquerade, certainly put the company on the map, but their next project helped establish their place in video game history. For those that might not know, Nihilistic was the team behind StarCraft: Ghost — the highly anticipated adaptation of Blizzard’s property that never saw the light of day. Needless to say, their road to moderate success hasn’t been easy.
In a very similar fashion, Starhawk developer Lightbox Interactive also announced they would be refocusing (but not renaming) their company towards the iOS market. Unlike Nihilistic, though, Lightbox’s refocusing came with a sizeable lay-off. 24 members of the Lightbox team have now found themselves without jobs — a move that Lightbox president Dylan Jobe said will help the team “be very nimble as [they] self-fund [their] next game and bring it to iOS devices.”
Also like Nihilistic, Lightbox appeared to be forming a budding relationship with Sony — Lightbox had recently signed a multi-game publishing deal with the company — but apparently those ties too have been severed. Both developers released some mid-level blockbusters into the market, but failed to make a sizeable splash.
It will likely be a while until we see new mobile products from these developers, but we hope that they are able to stay afloat during these tough economic times.
Are you surprised to see two more developers turn to the mobile and downloadable markets? Were you looking forward to more console offerings from either of the teams?
Source: Nihilistic Software