As reported by GameIndustry.biz, Activision Publishing studio, Vicarious Visions will be merged into Blizzard Entertainment effective today. The studio will be reshuffled into Blizzard development teams to continue work on current Blizzard IPs, such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and more. This merger will result in the studio no longer be the creative lead on video game projects going forward and will be acting as a support studio for all future Blizzard projects.
Vicarious Visions was originally acquired by Activision back in 2005, where the studio was trusted with some of Activision's biggest titles, such as Guitar Hero, Skylanders, Crash Bandicoot, and dozens of third party licenses. The studio recently was put in the forefront with the release of Crash Bandicoot NSane Trilogy, a remaster of the three original Crash Bandicoot games across all platforms. The remake held true to the original vision of the game and expanded upon it.
Vicarious Visions then released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2, a remake of the first two Tony Hawk's Pro Skaters game. This remake redeemed the franchise after Activision's release of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, which released to negative reviews and high critical fan feedback making it the worst received game in the franchise. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is often referred to as the best remake of a video game released, releasing to wide praise from fans and critics alike. This is also expressed in the high sale numbers for both remakes for Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk, bringing new energy into these once dormant IPs.
Vicarious Visions will remain in Albany New York, although the studio and team will be merged into Blizzard Entertainment. Jen Oneal, the lead studio head of Vicarious Visions, has been promoted to Blizzard Executive Vice President of Development as part of the merger, and will be reporting to Blizzard executives from this point forward.
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