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Vivendi Reveals Double Fine Deal,  Crash Online, Incredible Machine  For XBLA

Vivendi Reveals Double Fine Deal, Crash Online, Incredible Machine For XBLA

August 31, 2006 | By Simon Carless

August 31, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

According to a detailed investor presentation recently made available by major publisher and developer Vivendi Games, the company has apparently signed a deal with Psychonauts developer Double Fine for an unspecified new title.

The investor briefing, which was apparently given in June and filed with the SEC as part of mandatory document registration, was previously discussed with regard to the Blizzard-related slides, but apparently, the rest of the slides went unnoticed until recently.

These informational slides list an "all-star team" of external developers which includes Day 1 Studios (console versions of F.E.A.R), Starbreeze (previous developer of Chronicles Of Riddick), as well as Snowblind, Timegate, and Mad Doc Software, before mentioning Double Fine.

Founded by LucasArts veteran Tim Schafer, the company completed the critically acclaimed Psychonauts for a 2005 release by Majesco, but has so far remained quiet on its new project. As such, this presentation only reveals that Vivendi and Double Fine are partnering, and has no information on the specific project.

However, the document also reveals a great deal of previously unknown information on Vivendi's strategy, including confirmation of many unannounced titles from the company's Sierra Online division. These include Xbox 360 Live Arcade title Megaforce for this year, alongside Xbox 360 Live Arcade and PC SKUs of 3D Ultra Mini Golf, as well as PC and Xbox 360 Live Arcade titles based on classic puzzler The Incredible Machine in 2007.

In addition, a Battlestar Galactica Xbox 360 Live Arcade/PC title is mentioned in that same timeframe, alongside Red Baron for PC and Xbox 360 Live Arcade, re-inventing Sierra's combat flight game. The document also reveals a PC online version of the Crash Bandicoot franchise (called Crash Online, logically enough), and targeted at both the Western and especially Asian markets.

In addition, the World Of Warcraft expansion strategy is discussed in some detail, with notes that there are 900 servers running WoW currently, as well as over 1,300 Game Masters providing 24-hour support. The company also notes that future World Of Warcraft partners may include broadband ISPs, major online portals, PC and equipment OEMs, implying either software bundling or even WoW-branded hardware and components.

Finally, notes from the Sierra Mobile division show some interesting titles based on classic franchises for 2007, including Larry's Adventures: Love Boat, presumably continuing Leisure Suit Larry in mobile form, and what is described as King's Quest/ Connected Project, apparently reimagining the classic adventure series in some way for cellphones.

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