After a disappointing retail performance of 2004's Majesco-published Psychonauts, development house Double Fine Productions has found a new publisher for at least one of its future games.
A filing on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site gives an investor overview of Vivendi Games' operation dated June 2006, and it has the Psychonauts studio headlining its "all-star team of external developers." No details were given about what game the developer is working on or when it will be released, but it does list Double Fine's specialty genre as "action-adventure."
The presentation also goes on to let a few more cats out of the publisher's bag. Under its release list for the rest of the year, it mentions a multiplatform title called Crash Festival, and features a logo for M.A.C.H., which is apparently short for "Modified Air Combat Heroes." M.A.C.H. for the PlayStation Portable was spotted on the Retail Radar earlier this month, and is currently being offered at the publisher's online store with a December 19 shipping date.
A good portion of the filing is devoted to Sierra Online and the company's efforts to have that brand make a killing in short- and medium-length online gaming sessions the way Blizzard has grown successful with its time-intensive massively multiplayer online hit, World of Warcraft. While Vivendi hopes the previously announced Korean basketball MMO game FreeStyle will take flight as a midsession game in the West, it's banking on the unannounced Crash Online to do the same in China.
For quick bursts of online fun, the company is readying a slew of titles for Xbox Live Arcade and PC. The filing lists Megaforce and 3D Ultra MiniGolf as short-session titles set for release on Xbox Live Arcade and PC in 2006, with a trio of familiar faces following in 2007. Sporting various degrees of retro appeal, the company will offer Battlestar Galactica, Red Baron, and The Incredible Machine for Microsoft's online service and PCs next year. They will eventually be joined by seven more unnamed short-session games by year's end.
The quickly digestible online game appears to be a business model the company is banking on, as the company expects to release a dozen more short-session games in 2008, and 15 in 2009. They might not be released for more than just the Xbox 360 and PC, however; the filing lists Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as growth drivers in the field because of their online features.
When asked about the accuracy of the filing, a Vivendi representative would only say "no comment."