When it comes to developer studios that have experienced a longstanding Positive relationship with their publishers, few have enjoyed such a history as Vicarious Visions. Working with Activision since its 1998 Game Boy Color port of Vigilante 8, Vicarious Visions played a pivotal part in porting and developing several of Activision’s flagship names to handheld and previous generation consoles. Their partnership contributed to Activision buying the business in 2005. After 15 years with Activision, Vicarious Visions starts a new chapter as part of Blizzard Entertainment after both companies’ merger.
Perhaps what Vicarious Visions was famous for was its delicate handling of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. It had been in charge of porting every Significant launch in the Pro Skater Collection, beginning in 2001 with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on the GBA and end with Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground on the DS in 2007. In 2017, it’d reach breakout victory with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and again in 2020 using Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, both games being remastered of those first many games within their respective series.
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When Activision And Vivendi, the then-parent firm of Blizzard, merged in 2008 to make Activision Blizzard, their assets became more mutually exclusive. Following their independence from Vivendi in 2013, the two entities stayed separate, with Blizzard working on its titles and Activision functioning on its own IPs. It was announced today that the Vicarious Visions studio, from Activision’s side, would move to Blizzard’s side, effectively merging the studio to the company. It will stay in its headquarters based in Albany.
Moving ahead, Vicarious Visions will”fully devote” itself to Blizzard and the maturation of its names, no longer as a lead programmer. The merger involving Vicarious Visions and Blizzard isn’t as odd as it seems. Throughout 2020, there were rumors of a Diablo 2 remaster branded Diablo 2: Resurrected in evolution. According to the rumors, Vicarious Visions would take the helm as the lead programmer of the project.
This merger could mean the full-time Evolution of the Diablo 2 Remaster alongside a lot of other jobs that Blizzard has in store. With Blizzard being in hot water recently for its mismanaged handling of that the remastered Warcraft 3: Reforged, Blizzard is seemingly pulling out all the stops to ensure its future titles are high quality. Together with the maturation of Overwatch 2 remaining stagnant, it is supposed that Vicarious Visions will assist in its development within Blizzard.
Unfortunately for fans of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, further plans of future DLC between content from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 are currently stuck in limbo. Hope is not lost for the future development of Tony Hawk since Activision still has its own Beenox studio. Beenox has been on a roll with its Switch port of this Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and donations to the widely-acclaimed Crash 4: It Is About Time. Since Beenox co-developed Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 alongside Vicarious Visions, it’s a solid guess which they’ll be in charge of further developments.