Vicarious Visions working on Wii U

Employee's LinkedIn page says studio currently at work on code-named Project Atlantis, Phoenix, and Nova for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Wii U.

Activision-owned developer Vicarious Visions is presently at work on the 3DS iteration of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures. However, the Albany, New York-based company appears to have at least three new games in the development pipeline.

What will Vicarious Visions sketch out on Nintendo's new console?

According to the LinkedIn profile page of a Vicarious Visions associate producer, the developer is currently at work on three unannounced titles for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Wii U. None of the projects were named outright, but the staffer's page indicates three code names and their respective release platforms: Project Atlantis (Xbox 360, PS3), Project Phoenix (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii), and Project Nova (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U).

Although it primarily works on portables and the Wii, Vicarious Visions does have experience with the Xbox 360 and PS3, having created 2007's well-received Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.

Formed in 1991 by brothers Guha & Karthik Bala while still in high school, Vicarious Visions originally operated as an independent developer, shipping PC titles Terminus, Dark Angel, and Synnergist in the late 1990s. The company then created a range of portable titles, including Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, a launch title for the Game Boy Advance.

In 2005, Activision acquired Vicarious Visions. The studio has most notably worked on several Guitar Hero titles for the DS family of systems (Guitar Hero: On Tour: Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades) and for the Wii (Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero III, and Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero, and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock).

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

65 comments
Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

its funny people still hate on the wii-u controller when gamespot just released and article on here about Tablet owners starting to use their consoles less lol sounds like Nintendo hired a psychic and got to the development before neone else could take advantage #SmartCompany

townsforever
townsforever

the Wii U will be the best console for a long time IF and only if developers use their imagination and build actual real games for it

King-gamer
King-gamer

Meh, I don't Vicarious visions are that good of a studio. They only made some Guitar Hero spin-offs, ports, and games I've never even heard of....

thenerd64
thenerd64

Why is this in 360 hardware?

Np_Pro
Np_Pro

awesome! now we know for sure that the Wii U will be getting sub-par ports of quality games, just like its previous nintendo consoles. Thanks, Vicarious Visions!

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

@jhpeter Personally, I think that the only reason developers are so interested in the Wii U right now is that it's new and next-gen. They want to jump on the next-gen bandwagon, and since it looks like Wii U will be first out of the gate, that's the one the devs will latch onto first. Once Sony and Microsoft release their next-gen consoles, things may (or will) change, and we'll likely see a drop in support for Nintendo yet again.

franzito
franzito

Seriously, I don't have an opinion yet about Wii U. I'm busy with what I have.

JustTheTrick
JustTheTrick

StuffHobbes: The trouble is Nintendo DO make some of the greatest games. It's been a mixture of lazy developers and bad press from dismissive critics. Sure the Wii was very party orientated with Nintendo's first wave of software but it was to showcase and introduce the new technology (same has happened with Kinect and PS Move) but not many publishers have moved away from that. It annoys me that third parties havent embraced a console that is the best selling and sent it straight to the "casual gamer" bin. Blame third parties not Nintendo.

pH347m3
pH347m3

Crash Bandicoot N-Tranced is a good game.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

stuffhobbes their all doing it , , get over it , we need change change is good , and how is wii u much change , it has all the features of a ps3 360 gc controller and more , get a grip , your post definatelly belongs in system wars , on topic ,,interisting ill keep my eye on this

StuffHobbes
StuffHobbes

Nintendo needs to stop trying to change the way we play and focus on making some decent games rather than recycling everything. Wii U = Garbage

jhpeter
jhpeter

Developers are seeing that WII U is a awsome device, both for gaming and power.The only thing that sucks is that will be launched only in the year s end

nini200
nini200

Cool. Just makes my purchase of a WiiU that much more worth it.

zidan4000
zidan4000

why is this a PS3 article? I own a PS3 and this doesn't concern me , GameSpot phail.

FusionRain
FusionRain

@armodillo17 That's some crazy tech to be able to track all that. but they did give that Wii sports demo. Lets hope it works:)

armodillo17
armodillo17

@FusionRain I think it would be really cool to use the tablet as a telescope/binoculars, rifle scope, night vision or x-ray vision, etc..., basically any time where in real life you'd be putting equipment in between your eyes and the real world. I'd love to play Syphon Filter-style stealth missions where I use it to zoom in for reconnaissance or head shots. If they use it for detective mode in Arkham City, that might be a simple way to keep people from playing the whole game in detective mode (like people did with Arkham Asylum) because no one wants to hold something up for hours.

FusionRain
FusionRain

@Gamingclone Those are some good ideas no doubt. I'm just kinda skeptical. Thanks for your ideas I couldn't see the potential until now. @Mariner32 I already said why you would need to pause. Unless it's like some super hardcore mode you need to take time to pause and sort out inventory. Even if it's something as simple as a weapon switch, you still have to redirect your attention away from action where as using a d-pad you can hit a button you know is there a select it. The idea of giving a game more button is a great one though. Also don't get me wrong I am not saying I don't like Nintendo or the WiiU, i'm only wondering what devs are going to do, and how much they can do, to keep this system standing for 7-10 years. Who knows I could just be over thinking it and it can be a great platform, I just don't get it yet. I'll be really happy when the announce a special GC-like controller with the new Smash Bros. :)

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@FusionRain Okay then, Lets say, Fallout for instance. The Wii U touch screen will be used as your "Pip-boy," though you will still be able to access your pip-boy on the TV (since the game kinda pauses when you use your pip-boy), but in hardcore mode or whatever it is called, you will not be able to access your pip-boy on the TV and will only be able to use it on the touch screen controller and using it will not stop the game from playing. In GTA V (if they put it on the Wii U) could use the touch screen controller as the pause menu with the map and other stuff, or it could be used to access all your weapons quickly rather than having to use the d pad to navigate through all your weapons.... Oh wait I just re-read your post xD How would I use it? Well what I said above is an example of how I would use it if I was developing said games. But really, the controller can be used for alot of things. It could be used the same way the DS games use it's touch screen, or it could be used for many other things too. Devs dont even have to use it even.

Mariner32
Mariner32

@FusionRain Third Parties need not develop for the new controller. Certainly, it would give the Wii U an advantage over PS360 if third parties could effectively use the Wii U Tablet, but the Wii U is backward compatible with *all* Wii controllers. Nintendo confirmed this at E3. I'm sure Nintendo will be able to use the tablet wonderfully but this controller backward compatibility assures that third-parties aren't necessarily saddled with a controller they may not be able to fully utilize. Also, why exactly would the main screen have to be paused in order for the gamer to direct their attention to an inventory screen on the controller? A split second is all that would really be required to tap and change equipment. I feel using the tablet as an inventory screen would greatly increase the immersion of an experience as you wouldn't be able to pause reality to switch weapons in a fight.

espernay
espernay

for me the Wii U is the real competitor of PS3 and X360 from nintendo.

FusionRain
FusionRain

@thenerd64 The problem with that is that you would have to pause the game for you to stop the action in order to direct your attention to another screen. If your just gonna pause then why not put the stuff on the bigger display. I kinda thought about that but it's really not needed. I can see it being a fun thingy for like family games though now that I think about some of them. A few game shows and what not. That would be fun to play with some friends.

thenerd64
thenerd64

FusionRain Posted Sep 30, 2011 1:50 am GMT @Gamingclone I'm not saying good games can't be made.... Give me an example of how you would use the controller if you were to develop a game for it. Zelda_manage your items on the tablet whil playing on the big screen

FusionRain
FusionRain

@Gamingclone I'm not saying good games can't be made.... Give me an example of how you would use the controller if you were to develop a game for it.

FusionRain
FusionRain

@zequex That's a good idea, I can see how that would be very nice. Maybe Disgaea O_o

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Since Project Nova is being worked on for all systems, I hope that it has the same content for all as well.

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@FusionRain ah I see, well, I think it is highly likely that the Wii U will be getting it's own set of non touch screen controllers. I mean, why else would the Wii U have two usb ports in the front? Also, even if people are just limited to a single touch screen controller and 4 Wiimotes, I dont see how that will make a game bad. Again, I belive if a game sucks, it is not because of the console but because of the Devs. Such as releasing a very buggy game, releasing a game that poorly uses console's controlls, and quick cash ins.

zequex
zequex

@FusionRain Pretty much what @thenerd64 said. But since he already said it, I'll give you a very simple example of how it could practically improve games. One thing that all consoles have struggled with is competing with PC in terms of input. RTS players will tell you that it is pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to play an RTS well on a console. The main reason is lack of a) a mouse for fast pointing and b) a keyboard for shortcut keys. Now I'm not saying the WiiU will be ideal BUT you now have the option for pen-to-screen pointing control and/or an onscreen set of command buttons that could add a whole keyboard's worth of buttons on to the controller. No add-ons and no sacrificed screen space. Giving the developers the chance to just ADD MORE BUTTONS to the controller seems like an obvious win/win for everyone.

RIPANTHONY8008
RIPANTHONY8008

i am highly anticipating the Wii U.I am a big fan of nintendo but something about the wii just did not grab my attention. despite that i will be buying one for christmas and some games, mostly exclusives since alot of games are very cheap at this point in the wii lifecycle.going to start buying games for it next month if i can get some deals on them.of course wii u will have a lot of ports for the first year of release but as with other systems the game library should start to flesh out as time goes on

loopy_101
loopy_101

I like Vicarious Visions. They're great developers, just see the work they did with Doom 3 on Xbox, but they're also put to very poor use by their parent Activision. Fingers crossed this isn't some half-arsed attempt by them to port Call of Duty or Guitar Hero to the Wii U.

thenerd64
thenerd64

FusionRain Posted Sep 30, 2011 1:11 am GMT @zequex I'm looking at the WiiU in concept. How do you see the controller making a positive effect on games? What are some good ideas that devs can do with this? I'm asking how would this work, or add anything to a game? I'm sure Nintendo already has some things up their sleeve but what about 3rd parties? It would work like the 3ds does with 2 screens

thenerd64
thenerd64

It would work like the 3ds does with 2 screens

FusionRain
FusionRain

@zequex I'm looking at the WiiU in concept. How do you see the controller making a positive effect on games? What are some good ideas that devs can do with this? I'm asking how would this work, or add anything to a game? I'm sure Nintendo already has some things up their sleeve but what about 3rd parties?

zequex
zequex

Lol! Seriously?! Who does that?

zequex
zequex

....Did someone just come in and downthumb all the comments? :P

zequex
zequex

@FusionRain just because something has pros and cons doesn't make the pros equal to the cons. Giving developers options ALWAYS produces better games. The reason the PS3 and 360 are doing well is because their powerful hardware gave the developers OPTIONS and freedom to create rich dynamic worlds. The reason the Wii did so well is the variety of control schemes gave developers OPTIONS to try new ways to play and engage the player. Besides, how can the WiiU possibly be "harder to develop for" than a system like the DS or the Vita for that matter? The DS holds some of the most creative unique games ever created and it was the variety of input OPTIONS that made it possible.

amk11
amk11

Im hoping Project Nova is the new Guitar Hero title, it being on PS3, Wii U and 360 aswell

FusionRain
FusionRain

@Gamingclone Hmm is kinda hard to say. I really don't know what exactly the WiiU is. I don't get how you can build a game for it because in theory things work. I can think of some great ideas for some multiplayer games but that's instantly shattered with that fact that you can only have one WiiU controller per console. I think it's hard to develop a game with logical WiiU uses when the best thing about it is the worst thing.

FusionRain
FusionRain

@zequex once again that's double edged sword. While in theory, invetory and extra HUD would be nice to have on the controller's screen but that means you would have to look away from the t.v. Meaning anything can happen while you look down. The fix for that can but to pause but then why not just keep the menus on the screen. I can see it working well for game a like madden so you can pick your plays but you can only use one controller per console. I really want this thing to do well I just don't see how games will work on it. I really just see it as a novelty right now.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

I had to read the whole article before I could even relate to who Vicarious Visions was... and in the end the summary is "a developer that was milked to death by Activision".

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

This sounds very promising and I hope it's worth the wait.

IAreDaBest
IAreDaBest

I hope Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 loved the both of them.

doolindesperado
doolindesperado

I hope we might get X-men Legends 3 or another Ultimate Alliance. That would be sweet.

foxfacer2d2
foxfacer2d2

good atleast Wii U will be the leading hardware as of 2012

goubagouba
goubagouba

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@Vickman178 I completely agree, the wii U will only be seen as another console for developers to spread their multi-platforms in order to make more money. That means more room for the game to not be as good as it can be because sales will become easier. I'm all for the Wii U but developers need to bring their scale down a bit.. that's why Exclusive titles most of the time shine over the rest.

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

@FusionRain How can the Wii U step it's game up? Its not the thing that makes the games, its the developers who make the games. If the games suck, its the devs fault.

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

Finally, more Wii U news. For a bit there, I was concerned that Nintendo had threatened the developers life if they made any mention of the Wii U and its games :P