Vicarious Visions, the developers behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, have officially merged with Blizzard Entertainment. The company announced the merger yesterday, confirming that the studio is no more but will continue working on projects as the newly reformed Blizzard Albany.
Vicarious Visions announced their merger with Blizzard Entertainment, though didn’t offer any reasons why. In January 2021, Activision Blizzard revealed that they planned to shift the developer to a support team as opposed to a full-fledged studio.
The studio’s tweet about the merger reads:
“We’ve officially merged with Blizzard Entertainment. Our development team will remain in Albany, NY and fully dedicated to Blizzard games. We invite you to follow us @Blizzard_Ent.”
Vicarious Visions received praise following their excellent remastering of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy as well as the remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. It’s unknown if they’ll develop new titles under Blizzard Albany or continue as a support studio for major Blizzard titles, but the latter seems likely.
Last October, reports surfaced that the 200-employee team of Vicarious Visions would lose its name, and now it appears that the merger is finally complete. The team has now been absorbed into Blizzard Entertainment entirely, being “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives.”
Activision Blizzard were previously acquired by Microsoft in January 2022 for nearly $70 billion, making it the largest gaming acquisition in the industry’s history. Though the ink has yet to dry on the deal, Xbox is already planning some restructuring with Activision Blizzard properties. For example, the Call of Duty franchise will likely not keep its annual release schedule anymore, instead reportedly opting to release new Call of Duty titles every two years.
Vicarious Visions will continue supporting Blizzard Entertainment projects at large as Blizzard Albany, though will no longer retain their name.
Source: Vicarious Visions