Sunday, September 25, 2022

Blizzard has dismantled the classic games team, absorbs Activision studio

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Activision Blizzard Inc. the video game publisher took another step to solidify the control over the Blizzard Entertainment division. This division had shifted once a 200-person design studio to its ranks.

Since 2005, Vicarious Visions studio had been a subsidiary of Activision. Now, its total focus will be on Blizzard’s franchise. Jennifer Oneal, the former Vicarious Visions studio head will lead the Blizzard’s team.

Blizzard unexpectedly dismantled one of its internal development teams and then a few weeks after the news reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Blizzard had gained its name by making games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

But, in the last few years, the Activision publishing arm took a stronger hand in all operations of Blizzard. When asked about the current projects of Vicarious Visions, the spokesperson from Blizzard denied making any comment. He only confirmed that the studio “has been working with Blizzard for some time.”

Blizzard’s Team 1 is popular for reworking the classic games. In the last year, the team made a remake called Warcraft III: Reforged. The game was full of glitches and missing features that made a score of 59 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic.

Team 1 then didn’t want to make those same mistakes of Warcraft III: Reforged on a remake of Diablo II, their next project. Blizzard then decided to pull out the project from the team. Now, on Diablo II: Resurrected (remake), a group at Vicarious Visions is also working.

Blizzard informed its team members of Team 1 on 15th October 2020, that they are going to reorganize the entire division. All the members of the team then given the opportunity to give interviews for jobs elsewhere within Blizzard. The qualified ones were left for independent studios.

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Team 1 developed some other games like StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm. In 2018, Blizzard slowed down the process of development support of Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard announced on the same day that they are going to reorganize the division. Regarding Warcraft III: Reforged’s fixing and updates, one spokesperson from the redevelopment of Warcraft III: Reforged said “we are still committed to updates in support of the community.”

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