Vicarious Visions is one of the most prolific American developers of the past 25 years, producing numerous successful entries for popular franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk’s, and Spider-Man, just to name a few. In recent years they scored back-to-back hits with the critically-acclaimed remasters Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2, and it seems their reward for that good work is to be turned into a support studio.
Today it was announced that Vicarious Visions will be absorbed into Blizzard and its 200 employees will be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives." Despite this change in focus, Vicarious Visions won’t be relocating – they will remain at their current headquarters in Albany, New York. A Blizzard representative had the following to say about the new partnership…
After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized there was an opportunity for [Vicarious Visions] to provide long-term support.
So, what might Vicarious Visions be working on now that they’re the Blizzard backup team? Their statement says they’re working on existing Blizzard games, so if I had to guess, I’d say they’re going to quietly take over heavy lifting on Overwatch. Of course, they also have a lot of experience with remasters, so if Blizzard is planning to revive any more old games, they could make sure we don’t see a repeat of the Warcraft III: Reforged debacle.
Blizzard has struggled to create new games in recent years, but new president J. Allen Brack has promised to ramp up production. The PvE-focused Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 have been announced, and there are rumors a new Blizzard IP is in the works. Whether Vicarious Visions will be involved in any of these projects is not currently known.
What are your thoughts on Vicarious Visions merging with Blizzard? Is this a good use of their talent or is Acti-Blizz squandering one of their best studios?