Tony Hawk developer Vicarious Visions has fully merged with Blizzard Entertainment. Activision previously acquired the New York-based studio in 2005. Moving forward, it will instead become a subsidiary of Blizzard Entertainment. This merging was confirmed on the official Vicarious Visions Twitter account earlier today.
Its new role will be to dedicate itself entirely to Blizzard’s intellectual properties. That means that it’s unlikely that Vicarious Visions will be creating games in the future as the lead developer. Instead, its team of 200 staff will be providing support on various Blizzard titles. It is currently unknown what games the newly merged studio will be working on.
News of Vicarious Visions’ merge into Blizzard isn’t surprising given its recent history. It worked alongside Blizzard Entertainment to co-develop last year’s Diablo II: Resurrected. Even so, the news will be disappointing for some fans. Especially those of the Tony Hawk franchise.
The Tony Hawk series struggled for years to live up to expectations, with the likes of Ride and Pro Skater 5 being particularly poor. Yet Vicarious Visions created Pro Skater 1 + 2 in 2020, which went on to receive universal praise. Vicarious Visions’ work on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Skylanders, and Destiny 2 has been equally well received. Although not impossible, it’s unlikely we will see the studio get the chance to create games like this again anytime soon.
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 (@VvisionsStudio) April 12, 2022
There is one thing that could see Vicarious Visions resurrected again in the future. Microsoft is expected to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard sometime later this year. This could be the saving grace Vicarious Visions needs to once again become more than just a Blizzard support studio.
From Microsoft’s perspective, its reason to acquire so many studios is clear. It wants more games for Game Pass. Backing a talented developer like Vicarious Visions would be a great opportunity to expand Game Pass rather than have them work as a mere Blizzard support team. Regardless, if a change of fortune does follow, don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Company-wide movements of this size take time.