[Updated] Vicarious Visions Moves to Blizzard Entertainment

01/22/2021 - 15:05 | By: Robert N. Adams
Publisher
Activision
Release Date
September 4, 2020
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Developer of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Revival Fades Into the Background

Update (1/22/2021, 8:30 PM) – More information has been revealed about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 developer Vicarious Visions and its move from Activision to Blizzard.

Bloomberg reports that the company had been working on the Diablo franchise since last year. Part of this work included a remake: Diablo 2: Resurrected.  However, Blizzard's reputation for quality was recently marred by its lackluster release of Warcraft 3: Reforged; a post-launch update from the developers did little to placate upset fans of the franchise.

According to Bloomberg's sources, a major reason for the failure of the Warcraft 3 remake came down to pressure from management to get the game out the door as fast as possible. (Blizzard Entertainment is a company that's well-known for its release date philosophy of "when it's done.") Blizzard's Team 1 was subsequently pulled from the project and a mix of Diablo 4 and Vicarious Visions developers are now working on the Diablo 2 remake; there is currently no new information on who will be handling the post-launch updates for Warcraft 3: Reforged.

Our original story continues below.

 
 

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 developer Vicarious Visions has been merged into Blizzard Entertainment, effectively ending its role as a lead developer of video games.

Late last year, Vicarious Visions released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. This revival of the classic arcade skating game gave some fans hope that we'd see the other games from this franchise come back to life. Unfortunately, that is looking increasingly unlikely.

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Vicarious Visions Now Works for Blizzard Entertainment

GamesIndustry.biz reports that Vicarious Visions is no longer a subsidiary of Activision. Now, the company has been acquired by Blizzard — but it won't operate in quite the same way as it has before.

Blizzard Entertainment has stated that the entire 200-person team of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 developer will now be "fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives." The company will remain at its headquarters in Albany, New York, but its priority is now helping out Blizzard with its current and future projects in some unspecified capacity.

What has Vicarious Visions been working on? Blizzard didn't say, nor did it mention how long this arrangement is in place. What we do know, however, is that the studio's head Jen Oneal has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Development at Blizzard, reporting directly to company President J. Allen Brack.

 

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Will We Ever See Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 + 4?

The success and reception of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 last year was rather unsurprising to fans who have wanted a remaster for decades. We loved it, and the game holds an 89 Metascore on Metacritic and an 89 Top Critic Average on OpenCritic. The game was so well-received, in fact, that it quickly became the fastest-selling game in the franchise.

Anyone with the slightest inkling of knowledge about the games industry knows that strong sales and good reviews are typically an indicator that we'll see a sequel. However, Vicarious Visions' absorption into Blizzard means that they may not be working on the project.

The majority of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games have yet to get a remaster in the style of last year's 1 + 2 release. While some games in the franchise weren't as well-received as others — most notably Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 and Tony Hawk: Ride — there are still plenty of games that would probably do well as a remaster.

 

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 + 4 and Tony Hawk's Underground 1 + 2 could each be packaged together in a similar remastered double-pack. No official announcement on either has been made, but some fans thought that there were good chances of seeing this trend continue. Unfortunately, it looks like that might not be the case.

With Vicarious Visions now focused on Blizzard projects, it seems unlikely that they'll be making the next Tony Hawk's Pro Skater remaster (if one is coming at all). If we do eventually get a continuation of this franchise, it looks like it might be in the hands of another developer — and there's no guarantee that lightning can strike twice.

What do you think about Vicarious Visions being merged into Blizzard Entertainment? Would you like to see more remasters of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater? Let us know in the comments below!


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A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!