Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 developer Vicarious Visions is merging into Blizzard, putting the potential for another THPS remake into doubt.
Activision Blizzard owns both Vicarious Visions and Blizzard Entertainment, and it announced the structural change for the two studios in a statement given to GamesIndustry.biz. Vicarious Visions' team of roughly 200 employees will be "fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives" starting today. Despite leaving behind the Vicarious Visions name and joining the Blizzard umbrella, the team will continue to operate in Albany, New York rather than Anaheim, California.
"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," an Activision representative told GI.biz
Vicarious Visions was founded in 1991 and purchased by Activision in 2005. Its credits are almost dizzying broad, with the studio working on everything from Barbie: Magic Genie Adventure to Spider-Man 3 and beyond. It was more recently a lead developer on Destiny 2's PC version and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy before heading up work on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.
Vicarious Visions being devoted to Blizzard products rules out further work from the studio on the Tony Hawk franchise. Activision could always go forward with a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 + 4 (or whatever it would be called) from another studio, but if that was a priority for Activision right now it probably wouldn't move the original team off the series.
At least there's a good rhyme in THPS 1+2 being Vicarious Vision's last project under its own name. Arguably VV's most-acclaimed work as an independent studio was its Game Boy Advance port of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2; it too was a bold yet faithful update of the Pro Skater fundamentals, built from the ground up for an entirely new platform.
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