Vicarious Visions, the studio responsible for the recent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and earlier Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, is being gobbled up by Blizzard Entertainment. The studio was already owned by Activision Blizzard but, according to the publisher, the 200 person team will now become Blizzard employees and will be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives”.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, this means that the studio will no longer be heading up games as lead developer. Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal has been promoted to Blizzard executive vice president of development while her former role is being taken over by the studio’s chief operating officer Simon Ebejer.
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Activision Blizzard say that “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”.
ActiBlizz didn’t say which of Blizzard’s projects they’ll be putting all those hands to work on. Hearthstone cards? Overwatch shorts? Diablo 4 tinkering? Perhaps we’ll find out eventually.
Vicarious Visions launched their Tony Hawk’s ’em up just last autumn and it seemed to have been received pretty well. It was one of RPS’s favorite games of 2020. Sounds like a bit of a shame for Blizz to outright swallow a studio whose work folks apparently liked.