Stunning news today from Activision Blizzard as Vicarious Visions has been merged as a whole into Blizzard Entertainment. The news first came out from GameIndustry.biz, who reported that the decision happened today and that the company will essentially cease to be as all of the employees will now be on the Blizzard team. Here's a snippet from the article today.
Going forward, the Vicarious Visions team of about 200 people will be employees of Blizzard and "fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives," which means the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 studio will no longer be creating games as the lead developer.
"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," a representative explained to us. They declined to specify what the team has been working on with Blizzard, or for how long.
As part of the move, Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal has been promoted to Blizzard executive vice president of development, where she joins the company's leadership team and will report directly to Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.
What this means for Blizzard Entertainment as a whole remains to be seen. The company has had its own struggles in various ways both before and during the pandemic, which included a slew of layoffs between 2019-2020 both in California and at global offices. That said, the company wasn't really in any dire situation where it needed to grab a ton of new talent. Where exactly these 200 employees are going to go as far as existing titles and future products will be interesting to watch. With BlizzCon 2021 just a month away due to rescheduling, we're curious if anything will be mentioned about the move and what the intent is of the company for these employees.