Vicarious Visions is now officially merged into Blizzard

Vicarious Visions, whose latest games include Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (opens in new tab) and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (opens in new tab), is no more. The studio announced today that it has merged with Blizzard and will work exclusively on Blizzard games.

Vicarious Visions was founded in 1991 and released its first game, the DOS-based Synnergist, in 1996. Over the years, it has become known primarily as a developer of handheld games, particularly for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. Activision acquired the studio in 2005 and turned it into support for high-end game series like Guitar Hero, Skylanders, and Destiny 2. Studio founders Karthik and Guha Bala left in 2016, and the studio’s website at vvisions. with (opens in new tab) now redirects to a Blizzard Albany job listing.

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The merger is not a surprise: Activision has turned Vicarious Visions into a full-time Blizzard support studio (opens in new tab) in early 2021, after the release of the excellent Tony Hawk 1+2, and reports that it would be fully merged appeared in october (opens in new tab) the same year.

Despite that early warning, the reaction to the news was not what you would call broadly positive.

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But mixed with the disappointment are expressions of optimism: that Microsoft might resurrect Vicarious Visions as soon as the Acquisition of Activision Blizzard (opens in new tab) be complete and set you free to do your own thing again, or that VV infusion will inject some fresh life and creativity into Blizzard.

Both results seem like a long shot to me, but it doesn’t seem entirely beyond the realm of possibility. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in January that he’s looking forward to bringing back some of Activision’s games. he loved as a child (opens in new tab), which could easily include some Vicarious Visions classics. Unfortunately for fans, the culmination of that deal is still a long way off: it’s not expected to close until sometime in Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal year, which ends on June 20, 2023.

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