Report: Vicarious Visions Changing Its Name After Blizzard Merger

Report: Vicarious Visions Changing Its Name After Blizzard Merger
Image: Activision Blizzard

Back in January it was announced that Vicarious Visions, the studio famous for its work on the Tony Hawk remakes and a whole library of excellent licensed games, was going to be merging with Blizzard. Now it’s emerged that this corporate move means the developer will be changing its name as well.

As Polygon report, Vicarious employees “were initially under the impression the merger meant their employer would continue to operate as its own studio”, an understandable assumption to make seeing as the brand name is so synonymous with so many great games.

But during a town hall meeting on Wednesday morning staff were informed that as part of the merger, the Vicarious Visions name — which has been around since the studio’s establishment 30 years ago — was going to be removed. What it’s being changed to wasn’t disclosed, but since Blizzard names pretty much every studio after the city it’s located in, then Blizzard Albany seems as good as any other guess.

This sucks! This is a storied, veteran development studio, whose name is well-known and evokes all kind of fond memories. It was only last year I wrote a whole thing on their GBA ports, which gave us unique and beloved versions of Jet Set Radio and Tony Hawk Pro Skater that we as a civlization simply did not deserve.

Of course the change isn’t a surprise. Vicarious aren’t being merged so they can keep doing their own thing, it was with so they could be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives”, so aligning their name with that task makes perfect corporate sense if you’re someone who works at Activision Blizzard and cares about branding.

Then again, if you worked at Activision Blizzard and care about branding, maybe you have more important things to be worrying about right now than erasing the name of a studio that people had loved for 30 years.


    • Like a black hole, swallowing goodwill into its crushing maw.

      It’s sad, but still… what’s in a name, really? They cynically resurrected the name of Black Isle Studios ten years after anyone who had ever been involved with the studio had been fired, in a bid to drum up interest for a kickstarted MMO using an IP they’d lost the rights to. Nothing means anything if the people who made it magical are gone. Ask Bioware.

      Or Blizzard.

  • Hang on let me get this straight.
    First Vicarious Visions brought us Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy the Skylanders series franchise and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.
    Then Vicarious Visions said back in January earlier this year they were merging with Blizzard to work on the remake of Diablo II.
    Now the development team in Albany, New York is going to have the Vicarious Visions name removed?!
    What the hell is going on here Luke?
    This is bullshit Vicarious Visions is having it’s name removed the development team in Albany need to take full responsibility for crying out loud they can’t just have the name removed since Vicarious Visions has been around for 30 years.

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