Vicarious Visions, the talented development team behind the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane trilogy and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2, is now officially part of Blizzard Entertainment. New York-based game developer Vicarious Visions Albany was founded in 1991, Vicarious Visions released some wildly popular games, including the most recent Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 remaster before video game developer Vicarious Visions teamed up with Activision Blizzard for the task of porting Vigilante 8 to Game Boy Color In 1998, Vicarious Visions played a key role in porting and developing many of Activision’s flagship games for handheld devices and previous generation consoles.
It was announced today that Activision’s Vicarious Visions studio on Activision’s side will be moving over to Blizzard Entertainment’s side, effectively merging the studio with the company. Sources at developer Vicarious Visions told Polygon that the name drop was announced yesterday at City Hall and that while no new names have been confirmed, many suspect the studio will be renamed Blizzard Albany in line with research from other back offices. No new name has been announced for the studio, but some workers have suggested that it could simply be called Blizzard Albany. The new name has been chosen in keeping with the style of other teams such as Blizzard Austin which is based in Texas.
We've officially merged with Blizzard Entertainment. Our development team will remain in Albany, NY and fully dedicated to Blizzard games. We invite you to follow us @Blizzard_Ent
— Vicarious Visions (@VvisionsStudio) April 12, 2022
Going forward, their studio Vicarious Visions will depend on Blizzard and “commit fully to existing games and Blizzard initiatives”, which means that Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 studio will no longer be able to create games as a lead developer. While about 200 employees will remain at their Albany studio, they will now work exclusively on Blizzard Entertainment games, meaning that Vicarious will no longer be the sole developer on any project, but a support studio. It’s not known what game Vicarious will be working on, but Blizzard has a number of projects in the pipeline, including Diablo 4, Diablo’s mobile game, Overwatch 2, and more. As Blizzard invests its efforts into two massive projects in Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, Vicarious Visions’ help will likely be needed to ensure the speed and quality of these projects.
Blizzard could probably benefit from the help of a quality studio as they are trying to move into major releases like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it will be acquiring Activision Blizzard in a $69 billion deal. Microsoft has said that they will pretty much let Activision Blizzard continue to function as creatively as Activision Blizzard believes.