Vicarious Visions absolutely thrilled players in 2020 with the ground-up rework of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, bringing quality and joy back to the classic skateboarding franchise. It made us want for more in every way, whether it be THPS3+4 or a new Tony Hawk game altogether. Unfortunately, though Vicarious Visions has moved high up the Activision Blizzard totem pole of collab developers, new Tony Hawk games don’t seem to be in the cards. Vicarious Visions has been officially merged into Blizzard Entertainment, which means it will step away from primary development to aid Blizzard in ongoing and future projects.
This news comes to us from GamesIndustry.biz where sources familiar with the deal recently told the publication of the merger. Reportedly, the 200-strong staff of Vicarious will now be employees under the Blizzard banner and dedicate effort towards “existing Blizzard games and initiatives.” If that is correct, it likely means Vicarious Visions will move away from its prime development role which produced projects like the stellar THPS 1+2.
It’s a curious proposition to say the least. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was well-received by much of the gaming industry (especially here at Shacknews where we reviewed it highly and it even figured heavily into our 2020 Best Sports game conversation). Nonetheless, Blizzard could likely use the help from a quality studio as it attempts to move on major releases like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. Both games have been relatively quiet for some time and perhaps Activision Blizzard is banking on Vicarious to help bring an influx of quality and speed to the release of these games. Outside of Tony Hawk, Vicarious has also provided Activision with stellar work in franchises such as Guitar Hero and Crash Bandicoot.
We’ll hold out hope that Vicarious not being primary developer on future projects doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have a hand in new Tony Hawk goodness. That said, it seems that for now, Vicarious is all-in on Blizzard’s biggest projects for the foreseeable future.