Some people might see this as a stretch. Others might find this tidbit an appealing appetizer... others... well, intriguing.
Vicarious Visions -- acquired by Activision in 2005 -- is an american game developer studios located in Albany, New York.
They are rumored to be developing Diablo II: Resurrected as per Actugaming.
Nowadays, Vicarious Visions are known for developing remasters and porting third-party games to other platforms. They have developed these more recently:
Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009) PS3/Xbox 360
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Wii (2010)
Skylanders Superchargers (2015)
Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (2017) PS4/Xbox One/Switch/PC
They ported the PC version of Destiny 2 (2017). This one hits closer to home because obviously Destiny 2 being a Battle.net Launcher game in its infancy meant Vicarious Visions and Blizzard Entertainment had to interact to make the PC launch happen.
The most recent announcement is the upcoming remaster of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 -- slated for release on September 4, 2020. That one is coming in glorious 4K resolution for the PC (Epic Games Store), Xbox One and PS4.
So why is this tidbit of a job opening relevant?
Ultimate Alliance 2 is rated Teen.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is rated Teen.
Skylanders: Superchargers is rated E10+ (for everyone).
Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is rated E10+ (for everyone)
Destiny 2 is rated Teen.
Lastly, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 are rated Teen.
So... for Vicarious Visions to silently be posting a job opening for a QA Tester for a game Rated M is a big deal ... considering that very recently Actugaming reported a potential leak that Diablo II: Resurrected is in development by Vicarious Visions.
Diablo II is rated M for Blood and Gore Violence.
What are the odds that after developing so many Rated Teen and Rated 10+ games, Vicarious Visions decides to develop a Rated M game within the same time-frame they are rumored to be developing Diablo II: Resurrected?
"Must be comfortable with work involving mature themes, including but not limited to content with an M rating."
Let's take a look at the aforementioned Vicarious Visions job opening for a QA Tester:
Your mission is to collaborate with a team of talented testers to deliver high quality AAA products to spec and on time. You will be responsible for testing a variety of software with the goal of reporting defects into a bug tracking database. Quality Assurance Testers are critical to our development process. Come join us and help raise our quality bar even higher!
In the spirit of inclusion, we encourage all to apply.
· Testing pre-release video games and verifying functionality, content, performance, playability, and hardware compatibility.
· Providing detailed gameplay, balance and tuning feedback as requested
· Creating organized and detailed documentation of defects and feedback in a bug tracking database
· Debugging and troubleshooting
· Verification of bug fixes
· Collaboration with QA team members and other interdisciplinary teams.
· You have a passion for video games and the Quality Assurance discipline
· Knowledge of industry practices and software, including but not limited to Agile and Waterfall methodologies, Scrum, MS Office programs, Task Tracking Software, etc.
· You excel in a collaborative environment
· Must be comfortable with work involving mature themes, including but not limited to content with an M rating.
· You possess strong oral and written communication skills with an ability to organize and manage time efficiently to help ensure the success of our teams
· Available for 40 hours per week with the possibility of OT as needed
· Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent with a background in an industry-related field is preferred
In 2019, Vicarious Visions celebrated its 28th year in the industry. Over the years, we have made hundreds of games, in every genre, on every conceivable game platform in the known universe. We are a studio that is built to last.
Our philosophy of combining cutting-edge tech with creative innovation is evidenced in all of our products. We’ve worked on some of the most successful game franchises, including Crash Bandicoot™, Destiny 2™, Skylanders™, Guitar Hero™, Marvel Ultimate Alliance™, Spider-Man™, and Tony Hawk™.
We thrive on a culture of teamwork, respect and fun. We have built a welcoming and relaxed workplace that invites creativity and encourages individual voices. We not only give our developers a safe and warm place to incubate and grow their ideas but the tools and support necessary to turn those ideas into impactful and memorable experiences.
Our studio is located in beautiful upstate New York, only a couple of hours from NYC, with access to all the Northeast has to offer.
Activision Blizzard is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable law, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. (source)
After a well deserved sleep, I decided to hunt for Activision games in the 90s and 2000s to look up their ESRB and PEGI Ratings. A good way to pinpoint what games in specific Vicarious Visions might be developing that fits Rated M.
You can't absolutely say or think that this job opening is for Diablo II: Resurrected -- with other Activision candidates out there having an M Rating too.
These are my findings:
CALL OF DUTY
Call of Duty (2003) -- Teen
Call of Duty 2 (2005) -- Teen
Call of Duty 3 (2006) -- Teen
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: World at War (2008) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: WWII (2017) -- Rated M
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018) -- Rated M
So far, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 campaign has been Remastered in 2020. So there might be a chance that another Call of Duty game might get the same treatment.
On the other hand, Modern Warfare 2 is a 2009 game for PC/Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and NDS. So that limits the range of Call of Duty games that might be referring to the latest Vicarious Visions Rated M game remaster. Probably one that was originally published for the Xbox 360/PS3.
The first three Call of Duty games from 2003-2006 were originally Rated Teen. So we can discard those. That would leave anything from 2007-2015 as potential targets.
The True Crime franchise had these Rated M games for the original Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube -- which makes them a candidate for remaster.
True Crime: Streets of LA (2003)
True Crime: New York City (2005)
The Wolfenstein franchise is vast with 13 titles on its belt, but in all honesty anything before 2001 can't be translated well for modern consoles. The 2008 version probably doesn't count as it was released for iOS.
Castle Wolfenstein (1981)
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein (1984)
Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
Spear of Destiny (1992)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein RPG (2008)
Wolfenstein (2009) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) -- Rated M
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019)
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (2019)
Anything beyond 2014 was released on PS4 and Xbox One -- so that leaves only the 2001, 2003 and 2009 releases as candidates for a Rated M remaster.
The Doom franchise is definitely Rated M, but the original games before 2006 don't seem proper for a remaster. Doom 64 (1997) might look alright remastered, though.
Doom 3 (2004) was remastered already on 2012 for the PS3/Xbox 360/PC in the form of Doom 3: BFG Edition. Later ported to Nintendo Switch/PS4/Xbox One in 2019.
Doom was rereleased for PS4/Xbox One/PC in 2016 and on the Nintendo Switch on 2017.
Doom Eternal in 2020 for PC/PS4/Xbox One/Switch/Stadia.
So there is very little room here for Vicarious Visions to remaster in terms of the recent QA Tester job opening.
The Gun franchise is Rated M. Originally released for PS2/Xbox/Xbox 360/GameCube/PC in 2005.
Does it deserve a Remaster? Probably not.
I played this game back in 2009 for PC. It was also released on Xbox 360/PS3/Xbox One. It was a good sandbox where you could glide above the skycrappers, and stealth on the ground by shapeshifting into one of your victims.
Prototype 2 was released on 2012 for PS3/Xbox 360/PC.
I seriously can't see a remaster of this game by Vicarious Visions. Prototype was re-released in 2015 for PS4/Xbox One. However, it seems the PC version wasn't. So there is that.
Prototype 2 was re-released in 2015 for PS4/Xbox One.
SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
Soldier of Fortune was a Rated M game developed by Raven Software in 2000 for PC, and in 2001 for Dreamcast/PS2.
Soldier of Fortune: The Double Helix (2003) for PC/Xbox, and Soldier of Fortune: Payback (2007) for PS3/Xbox 360/PC.
This game was released by Raven Software on 2010 for the PS3/Xbox 360/PC as a Rated M first-person-shooter video game.
So it is alright to have hope for a Diablo II: Resurrected confirmation, but there is room for Vicarious Visions to be working on a different Rated M game from the Activision portfolio.
If anything, I think the perfect opportunity for a Diablo II: Resurrected to be officially announced should be June 29 -- the 20th Anniversary of the Diablo II launch. We'll have to wait to find out.
Update: No announcement was made in June 29, 2020.
UPDATE (AUG 22, 2020)
The job opening has been filled recently. Now a matter of time to learn what game Vicarious Visions is developing. The GamesCom 2020 Online event will be held on August 27, 2020. Activision Blizzard is a confirmed partner. Diablo II: Resurrected is not yet official or announced. This event is a potential platform for such thing. I'll update soon.
UPDATE: November 9, 2020
The QA Tester (Temporary) job was relisted once more at the Vicarious Visions Careers page using the same code: R001025.
It still mentions: "Must be comfortable with work involving mature themes, including but not limited to content with an M rating."
You can apply for this job here.
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