Vicarious Visions has officially changed its name to Blizzard Albany. Blizzard Activision previously announced the studio restructure late last year, but it wasn’t until today that it went into effect. This marks the close of a 31-year history as the renamed studio takes on the task of supporting Blizzard’s development efforts on upcoming titles.
Did Vicarious Visions close?
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
While it no longer goes under the name Vicarious Visions, the studio didn’t close. In fact, in a rare occurrence in the industry, there were no layoffs as part of the merger. It seems that aside from making the Blizzard Albany name official, there’s been no major changes at the studio.
Though Vicarious Visions has been around for more than three decades, it served mostly as a support studio. It produced many ports and handheld adaptations of games over the years and had few original properties. However, that shouldn’t undermine its accomplishments. Its three most recent titles, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, and Diablo 2: Resurrected, were very successful remasters and were much-lauded by critics and fans alike.
It’s unfortunate that it seems like Vicarious Vision’s reward for its success is being eliminated. The studio was making itself a trusted name when it comes to remasters. Now, it’s been merged into a studio with a tarnished reputation.
Blizzard Albany is currently working on Diablo 4, according to job listings, Hopefully, with this added support Blizzard will finally be able to ship a new game. It’s been six years since Overwatch came out despite having nine studios and 4,700 employees. The studio has seen a massive brain drain in recent years as its reputation has gone from being seen as an industry darling to being reviled as toxic.
In other news, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising got a release date, and Final Fantasy 14 Patch 6.1 brings new story quests to the game.