On paper, Activision Blizzard is a unique company whose huge and very valuable catalog of games addresses from Call of Duty a Hearthstone. Two indisputable references in their respective genres. In practice, Blizzard just absorbed Vicarious Visions, which I was already part of Activision, welcoming its 200 workers under its own label.
An exceptional signing, since if the trajectory of Vicarious Visions with Activision speaks for itself, his last two projects (the remake of the classic Crash Bandicoot trilogy and the outstanding Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2) are an example of how give new life and glory to timeless classics.
Of course, it is a curious operation: Vicarious Visions was acquired by Activision in 2005, dedicating for almost a decade to sagas such as Guitar Hero and Skylanders at the same time that they supported, in parallel, projects such as Destiny 2.
The confirmation of this absorption comes from statements by Activision Blizzard itself to GamesIndustry.biz (corroborated not long after by Bloomberg). For its part, Jen Oneal goes from being the head of Vicarious Visions to Executive Vice President of Blizzard.
Blizzard receives exceptional reinforcement at a key moment
The question asks itself: Is there a difference between working for the titanic Activision Blizzard and being integrated into the structure of Blizzard Entertainment? Starting off, and according to company statements, the approximately 200 workers at Vicarious Visions now will be dedicated exclusively to existing Blizzard franchises and licenses.
While no information on unannounced new projects or games has been released in conjunction with the takeover of the company, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier made an interesting nuance: Vicarious Visions has been collaborating with Blizzard for about a year. to shape an unannounced remake of Diablo II.
At this point we have to remember that until Blizzard makes an official announcement It could be a mere rumor or one of many games canceled by the Californians. And they have not been precisely few. However, in iGamesNews we already talked of a likely comprehensive overhaul of the Diablo sequel (along with that of Warcraft III) back in 2017.
In this aspect, Warcraft III Reforged, the reforged version of their real-time strategy classic, was a huge disappointment for fans and its release a blow to Blizzard. So brutal, that the remake of the cult classic ended up being punished with the worst Metacritic grade
What is certain is that Vicarious Visions and Blizzard have been working on a joint project and, judging by the statements to GamesIndustry.biz, Californians were interested in having those responsible for the fenómeno Skylander for your future plans.
After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized that [Vicarious Visions] I had the opportunity to offer great long-term support.
Why absorb Vicarious Visions when it is part of its parent company? Well, unlike Activision, Blizzard develops all of its projects in-house. Which brings us to another nuance: since 2018 we know that never in the history of the Californian company so many games have been produced in parallel.
What’s more, Blizzard he plans to bring all his series to mobile. Including your own version of Pokémon GO based on WOW. With which the reinforcement from New York comes at a really key moment for the company.
What can we expect from the aces of the Activision remake at Blizzard?
As we discussed, no announcements have been made about the project that Vicarious Visions and Blizzard are shaping. But it has been clarified that the team recently signed by California will be completely dedicated to the existing Blizzard games and initiatives. And the truth is that, although there are many pending announcements, they also have many open fronts.
Starting, the promised Overwatch 2 that will reach all systems, including Nintendo Switch, offering new game modes.
And, to be honest, seeing the poor reception of Warcraft III Reforged, announce a remake of Diablo II in which those responsible for breathing new life to Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk it’s a knock on the table.
Logically, there are many other projects in constant expansion. Since the newly released World of Warcraft: Shadowlands a Hearthstone. Titles that always require hands. Above all, with the eve of the imminent Blizzcon.
We do not know what projects Blizzard will have in the oven to announce, but that the entry of Vicarious Visions is made official now is not the result of chance: on February 19 and 20 BlizzConline, the online alternative to this year’s BlizzCon, will take place.
And, at the same time, the ultimate showcase for announcements, surprises and, who knows? maybe some exceptional remake by true experts in the field.