A PlayStation Vita version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had been in development at handheld-specialist Vicarious Visions before being canned by Activision, a new report has claimed.

Kotaku claims that the studio, which has previously developed handheld ports of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Guitar Hero, had hoped to release a port of this year's CoD on Sony's portable, but the "flawed" project was "moved to another studio" after Activision pulled the plug.

The game likely went on to become Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified under Nihilistic Software.

The revelation makes sense, of course. Nihilistic claimed that Activision had started work on a Vita Call of Duty around October 2011, before Nihilistic was "brought in shortly thereafter".

And choosing Nihilistic to pick up the game's troubled development would have made sense for Activision and Sony. Nihilistic had prior experience of developing a first-person shooter for Vita: the studio developed this summer's disappointing Resistance: Burning Skies.

It was also alleged that Nihilistic was only given "a four-five month development cycle" on Declassified - which, given the game's incredibly short playtime, wouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

The game's confused development even appeared to bewilder Black Ops 2 developer Treyarch. Back in June, a spokesperson for the studio claimed that even he didn't know who was developing the Vita game.

Nonetheless, Black Ops Declassified managed to hit its November deadline when it went on sale last month. Unlike its big-brother, however, the game hasn't seemed to have performed that well at retail.

The game debuted at no. 16 in the UK Top 40 Charts on its opening week, before tumbling to 33 and 39 in the weeks that followed.

Source: Kotaku