Vicarious Visions employees have been told that the studio will lose its name as a part of its merger with Blizzard Entertainment, according to Polygon. This comes after the company announced yesterday that it’s pausing its plans for BlizzConline scheduled for early 2022.
The company behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 and the recently released Diablo 2: Resurrected officially merged with Blizzard in January. Since then, the company has been primarily focusing on “long-term support” of the Blizzard franchises.
Vicarious Visions workers assumed that they’d “operate as its own studio,” even though it was owned by Blizzard, according to Polygon. But during a town hall meeting yesterday morning, they were reportedly told about the studio’s name being dropped.
Although a new name for the studio has yet to be announced, a number of workers speculate that it could become “Blizzard Albany” since the Vicarious Visions office is located in Albany, New York. This wouldn’t be anything new for the creators of World of Warcraft and Overwatch because Blizzard uses names like this for remote offices, such as Blizzard Austin in Austin, Texas.
Several Vicarious Visions employees “weren’t necessarily surprised” by this news and said the “writing was on the wall,” according to Polygon. On top of that, leadership explained that there weren’t any layoffs planned, according to the employees.
Most of the employees understood what was coming, with a few expressing their distastes. This was mainly due to the lack of concrete answers and leadership’s failure to practice what they preach. One employee felt that there needed to be more transparency following the ongoing lawsuit Blizzard has been facing over the past couple of months, according to Polygon.
Activision Blizzard is facing a number of wide-ranging allegations pertaining to toxic work environments, particularly toward women. The company has been sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).