Number of employees
Blizzard Entertainment (2021–present)
After releasing its last game as part of Activision Publishing, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, Vicarious Visions was moved from that division within Activision Blizzard into Blizzard Entertainment on January 22, 2021. As part of that transition, Simon Ebejer became studio head.
The studio was founded by brothers Karthik and Guha Bala in 1991 while they were in high school. In the late 1990s, Vicarious Visions appointed Michael Marvin, an Albany-based investor and entrepreneur, and founder and former CEO of MapInfo Corporation; and Charles S. Jones, investor, who sat on the boards of various software and industrial companies including Geac and PSDI, to its board of directors. Under their leadership, a sale of the company was negotiated to Activision, earning the original investors over 20x their initial investment. In January 2005, Vicarious Visions was acquired by publisher Activision. In June 2007, Activision closed the Vicarious Visions' office in Mountain View, California. On April 5, 2016, the Bala brothers announced that they had left the company. The brothers then founded Velan Studios in November 2016.
On January 22, 2021, Vicarious Visions was moved by Activision Blizzard from a subsidiary of Activision to a subsidiary of Blizzard Entertainment. Going forward, the more than 200 employees of Vicarious Visions will be employees of Blizzard. Vicarious had been working with Blizzard for about two years prior to this announcement, and specifically on the planned remaster of Diablo II, Diablo II: Resurrected, and Blizzard felt the move would be best as to have Vicarious' group provide continued support not only on the remaster but also on other Diablo properties including Diablo IV.
On October 27, 2021, Blizzard informed Vicarious Visions employees that the studio would change its name.
Terminus, an online multiplayer space trading and combat simulation game, won two Independent Games Festival Awards in 1999. They became known as a leading developer of handheld games breaking ground by the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, developing Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS titles in the franchise's main series as well as one spin off. They developed the first three Crash Bandicoot GBA games. Vicarious Visions developed Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Ultimate Spider-Man, Crash Nitro Kart, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and Doom 3 for the Xbox. Vicarious Visions developed for the Guitar Hero series on the Nintendo DS and Wii platforms. For Guitar Hero: On Tour, Vicarious Visions created the "Guitar Grip" peripheral for the Nintendo DS, which emulates the guitar controller for the portable system.
It was revealed on June 10, 2011, that Vicarious Visions was working on the 3DS version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. On December 8, 2016, Vicarious Visions announced that they were partnering with Bungie to work on the Destiny franchise.
Vicarious Visions Alchemy is the company's game engine. It was released in 2002. It was originally called Intrinsic Alchemy and developed by Intrinsic Graphics before being renamed after Vicarious Visions acquired Intrinsic Graphics in 2003.
|2000||AMF Xtreme Bowling||Game Boy Color|
|VR Sports Powerboat Racing|
|2001||Sea-Doo Hydrocross||Dreamcast, Game Boy Color, N64|
|2008||Call of Duty: Roman Wars||Microsoft Windows, PS3, Xbox 360|
|2010||DJ Hero 3D||3DS|
|2011||Guitar Hero 7||PS3, Xbox 360, Wii|
|2012||Untitled Crash Bandicoot game|
|2017||Untitled Skylanders game||PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, Wii U|
- As a support team for Bungie
- "Vicarious Visions merged into Blizzard Entertainment". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- Frank, Allegra (April 5, 2016). "Vicarious Visions co-founders move on after 25 years". Polygon. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
- Handy, Alex (June 7, 2007). "Exclusive: Activision Closes Vicarious Visions' CA Office". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- Futter, Mike (April 5, 2016). "Vicarious Visions Co-Founder Brothers Depart After 25 Years". Game Informer. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- "Bala brothers found Velan studios". Market for Computer & Video Games. November 21, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
- Sinclair, Brendan (January 22, 2021). "Vicarious Visions merged into Blizzard". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- Schreier, Jason (January 22, 2021). "Blizzard Absorbs Activision Studio After Dismantling Classic Games Team". Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- Minotti, Mike (February 22, 2021). "Blizzard leaders J. Allen Brack and Allen Adham on leaks, Reforged lessons, mobile, and more". Venture Beat. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- "Vicarious Visions to drop its name and fully merge with Blizzard, sources say". Polygon. October 27, 2021.
- "Report: Job Losses At Vicarious Visions". Nintendo World Report. June 10, 2011.
- McWhertor, Michael (December 8, 2016). "Destiny Development Team Expands With Vicarious Visions". Polygon. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Vicarious Visions Acquires Intrinsic Graphics Technology". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
- East, Thomas (July 2, 2013). "Skylanders Swap Force Wii will be very close to the HD versions". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Machkovech, Sam (February 19, 2021). "Diablo II Resurrected tops BlizzCon announcement flurry". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 20, 2021.