Vicarious Visions Simon Ebejer on Blizzard Merger

New head of Vicarious Visions Simon Ebejer has replaced Jennifer Oneal (new EVP of development at Blizzard Entertainment). Simon Ebejer talked with The Daily Gazette about the recent merger.

Here are some snippets that come to attention from the article:

  • Vicarious Visions has collaborated with Blizzard for a “decent amount of time."

  • We’re going to be working on some incredible stuff as a part of Blizzard.

  • Ebejer said he can’t yet discuss the titles they are working on--

  • “I can’t obviously get into any specifics but it does mean a lot to see the passion of the community, and the way that both VV fans and Blizzard fans are getting excited about the possibilities that we have ahead of us.”


THOUGHTS

There are a few things to unpack from these small snippets. This is the second time that Vicarious Visions has hinted they have spent a decent amount of time with Blizzard Entertainment.

We know this to be true because naturally if Vicarious Visions developed the Destiny 2 (PC) port and Blizzard Entertainment hosted Destiny 2 (PC) in the Blizzard Launcher... both studios had to work together.

But later in the article, Simon Ebejer said he can't yet discuss the titles they are working on.

That right there is very revealing because "YET" implies there will be an announcement soon, it implies that these "TITLES" are Blizzard/VV titles, and that "SPENT A DECENT AMOUNT OF TIME" reflects how long these Blizzard titles have been in development as unannounced games.

Concerning the "POSSIBILITIES THAT WE HAVE AHEAD OF US" I must share with you that Vicarious Visions is well-known for porting Activision titles to console, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS.

Therefore, it is not too far-fetched to speculate that at some point we might see Diablo II: Resurrected, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch in the Nintendo Switch, Consoles or mobile.

If someone can make this happen, Vicarious Visions can.


VICARIOUS VISIONS POTENTIAL

In order to visualize the potential of Vicarious Visions wrapping their arms around the Blizzard Entertainment portfolio, we must look at their past releases and how many projects they could handle the same year.

Vicarious Visions has been developing games since 1996, but in this instance I will only focus on the games they have developed since 2005 when Activision acquired them.

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From the get-go, we can see that Vicarious Visions was able to work on 7 Activision Titles in 2005 alone, but some of these were simultaneously developed for more than one platform: Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. So those also count as extra projects beyond just 7.

This tells me that Vicarious Visions as a company can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, and multi-task other projects on the side.

The following year, in 2006, they worked on several projects simultaneously as well.

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2007 saw further ports to portable devices. Thus far, you have seen what Vicarious Visions is all about. We can expect Vicarious Visions to make some ports to Nintendo Switch for other Blizzard games based on what we have seen so far.

In 2007, Vicarious Visions released 7 video games, but Spider-Man 3 was developed for 5 different platforms the same year. That makes 2007 a heck of a workload for the team.

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2008 was the year of Guitar Hero with multipe titles, and two known IPs: 007 James Bond and Kung Fu Panda.

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In 2009, Vicarious Visions worked on 7 titles simultaneously. Most were for the Nintendo DS, two on Wii, and the Marvel title for console (PS3/Xbox 360).

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2010 marked their first incursion into mobile games with Guitar Hero on iOS, and from there they rolled more mobile games in subsequent years.

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From that point forward, Vicarious Visions production slowed down from 7 titles a year to a few, but this is where the company started to move into the mobile market and the transition to PS4 and Xbox One.

It also seems Activision didn't give them much to chew on as they focused on Skylanders for 5 years.

In 2017, they ported Destiny 2 to PC for Bungie, and worked on Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Their last launch was Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 remaster in glorious 4K.

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With League of Legends: Wild Rift coming to Android and iOS in 2021; I would imagine Heroes of the Storm could do well as a mobile game, as well as the Nintendo Switch.

It is not a secret that Keyboard and Mice work on PS5 and PS4, but it is left to the developers to support it in their games. PS5 has 3 USB ports and Bluetooth, and recognizes a Keyboard and Mice on both connection types.

Could we see World of Warcraft, StarCraft II or Heroes of the Storm on PS5 and Xbox Series X at some point? Only Blizzard and Vicarious Visions know the answer to that.

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