Earlier today we discussed the dismantling of Blizzard’s Classic Games division, Team 1, and the merging of a subsidiary of Activision into the company as a result of the empty space left behind by the dismantled division.
Here, we’d like to dive a bit deeper into what one should expect from Vicarious Visions and why the merge is being made in general, as well as why the Blizzard gaming community is a bit hesitant to see this new development being made.
To start with the hesitance, many are worried that this is another step from Activision to assert more control over Blizzard, which has been a long-standing concern from the community. As Activision takes more and more control, Blizzard’s identity becomes a bit more muddied, with definitive impact on the games being made as well.
Given that Blizzard is dismantling a Blizzard-ran team and replacing it with a team that reportedly is as many as two-hundred individuals, owned and managed by Activision, it seems that this could be pushing the control a bit more towards Activision’s corner.
As far as what Vicarious Visions is, it’s worth knowing that Blizzard has supposedly been working with the development studio for quite some time. Many are theorizing that the work in question is based on the rumored and unconfirmed Diablo II remake, Diablo II: Resurrected.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) January 23, 2021
The report given states that Vicarious Visions will be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives” and remain independent from their location in Albany, New York. Given the rumors that they’ve already been hard at work for Blizzard, there’s little reason to doubt this.
Vicarious Visions is far from a new player in the field as well, formed back in 1990 and working on ports for several widely-acclaimed titles, such as Doom 3, Tony Hawk titles, and Star Wars: Jedi Knight. The company was acquired by Activision back in 2005, becoming a support studio.
Under Activision, Vicarious Visions worked to port Destiny 2 to PC and develop the Warmind expansion, and remained with Activision as their work ended on Destiny following Bungie’s split from the company. Their most recent development, if the rumors prove true, is the Diablo II remaster.
All of that adds up to say that Vicarious Visions is far from some amateur company that runs the risk of making poor titles while supporting Blizzard, which is a concern that many on the internet have been shouting from the hilltops in protest to the merger.
While the primary concern remains a fear that Blizzard’s identity will continue to grow muddied, Vicarious Visions is nonetheless a proven and well-acclaimed studio. With eyes focused on if Activision will use this new merge to assert further control, many will be waiting to see the new developments.