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Starym

Vicarious Visions Studio Being Merged Into Blizzard by Activision

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It seems the rumors of a Diablo 2 remastered might have been very much on the mark, as Activision-owned studio Vicarious Visions, most known for their work on porting Destiny 2 to PC and helping Bungie develop the game during their time at Activision, is being merged into Blizzard!

We talked about the Diablo 2: Resurrected remaster rumor a while ago, which claimed that VV was actually already working on it, as their recently finished up two major remasters (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy) would make them a perfect fit. The rumor was backed up by some job listings at both Blizzard and VV more recently, and now we have two reports saying that the entire Vicarious Visions studio will be merged into Blizzard.

The move was first reported by GamesIndustry.biz, where an Activision representative said this:

Quote

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.

Vicarious Vision's 200-strong staff will be working to support Blizzard, with their studio head Jen Oneal now promoted to Blizzard executive vice president of development, reporting directly to Blizzard president J.Allen Brack. The studio won't be moving, however, but will instead stay in Albany, New York and work from there.

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Image courtesy of DBLTAP.

The second report on the situation comes from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who wrote an expose on how Blizzard's Classic Games division was dismantled and that not only will Vicarious Visions be filling that position, they've already been working with Blizzard for months (presumably on the rumored Diablo 2 remaster). As you'd imagine, the bungled Warcraft 3: Reforged release had a lot to do with all this, and the same Blizzard team was supposed to do the D2 remaster as well. After the Reforged launch the D2 remaster was moved to the Diablo 4 team, who were then apparently assisted by Vicarious Visions. Schreier goes into a lot more detail on how the Classic Games division was removed, and it's a very interesting read, especially if you like to hear about Blizzard's internal workings. Also to note, WoW Classic has nothing to do with the Classic Games team, as it's developed by, well, the WoW team.

The bottom line is that Blizzard has actually received some pretty talented help, as Vicarious Visions work with Bungie was very solid, and they showed they could indeed work with a big studio and keep the original visions intact. It also might mean a somewhat faster pace of Blizzard releases in the future, without any quality loss, so it's all sounding like good news to us, despite Schreier's somewhat different view on the subject:


So, what do you think? Is evil Activision trying to play control games with Blizzard or is this just a solid studio added to help Blizzard out?

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I remember seeing Vicarious Visions on the N.Sane trilogy remaster screen, which was horrible in terms of character movement and physics. No circle beneath the character meant you had no clue where you would end up jumping.

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Not sure if this is good news. W3 seems pretty much abandoned, no wonder it still lacks some functionality of the original if their previous classic team is no more (not to mention that they had unrealistic schedule). Hopefully they won't mess up that remaster of Diablo 2. No idea if some support might return for other games previously handled by classic team.

Edited by Arcling

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