Activision Folds Vicarious Visions Into Blizzard

Activision rewarded Vicarious Visions' Tony Hawk success by merging it with Blizzard.
Activision rewarded Vicarious Visions' Tony Hawk success by merging it with Blizzard. / Photo courtesy of Activision

Activision Blizzard will merge Vicarious Visions, the developer that successfully revived both the Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchises, with Blizzard Entertainment, Activision announced Friday.

Vicarious Visions' roughly 200 employees will become employees of Blizzard, and will work on Blizzard games and initiatives rather than leading development on its own projects.

"After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized there was an opportunity for it to provide long-term support," a Blizzard representative told GamesIndustry.Biz.

Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal has been promoted to Blizzard executive vice president of development, adding her to the company's leadership team and making Blizzard president J. Allen Brack her immediate superior. Replacing Oneal as Vicarious Visions studio head is Simon Ebejer, previously the studio's chief operating officer.

Vicarious Visions is already at work on a Diablo II remake, per a Bloomberg report published Friday. Blizzard's own internal remakes team, known as Team 1, had been dismantled following the botched launch of Warcraft III: Reforged in January 2020. Team 4, the team that worked on Diablo IV, took over the project with Vicarious Visions' support.

Vicarious Visions was founded in 1990. Activision acquired it in 2005, and it has worked on many of the publisher's biggest franchises over the years: Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Destiny and Call of Duty to name a few. It will remain headquartered in Albany, New York.