Vicarious Visions

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Vicarious Visions, Inc.
Subsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded1990; 30 years ago (1990)
FoundersKarthik Bala
Guha Bala
Headquarters,
Key people
Jennifer Oneal
Number of employees
218
ParentActivision (2005–present)
WebsiteOfficial website

Vicarious Visions, Inc. is an American video game developer, based in Albany, New York.

Studio history[edit]

The studio was founded by brothers Karthik and Guha Bala in 1990 while both were in high school.

In the late 1990s, Vicarious Visions appointed Michael Marvin, an Albany-based investor and entrepreneur, and founder and former CEO of MapInfo Corporation; and Charles S. Jones, investor, who sat on the boards of various software and industrial companies including Geac and PSDI, to its board of directors. Under their leadership, a sale of the company was negotiated to Activision, earning the original investors over 20x their initial investment.

In January 2005, Vicarious Visions was acquired by publisher Activision. On April 5, 2016, the Bala brothers announced that they had left the company.[1]

Game history[edit]

Terminus, an online multiplayer space trading and combat simulation game, won two Independent Games Festival Awards in 1999. They became known as a leading developer of handheld games breaking ground by the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, developing every Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS title in the franchise's main series as well as one spin off. They developed the first three Crash Bandicoot GBA games. They are also known for many games including Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Ultimate Spider-Man, Crash Nitro Kart, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and Doom 3 for the Xbox. Vicarious Visions developed for the Guitar Hero series on the Nintendo DS and Wii platforms. For Guitar Hero: On Tour, Vicarious Visions created the "Guitar Grip" peripheral for the Nintendo DS, which emulates the guitar controller for the portable system.

It was revealed on June 10, 2011, that Vicarious Visions was working on the 3DS version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.[2]

On December 8, 2016, Vicarious Visions announced that they are partnering with Bungie to work on the Destiny franchise.[3]

Game engine[edit]

Vicarious Visions Alchemy logo

Vicarious Visions Alchemy is the company's game engine. It was released in 2002. It was originally called Intrinsic Alchemy and developed by Intrinsic Graphics before being renamed after Vicarious Visions acquired Intrinsic Graphics in 2003.[4]

Games developed[edit]

Year Game Platform(s)
1996 Synnergist Microsoft DOS (PC CD-ROM)
1997 Dark Angael Microsoft Windows
1999 Zebco Fishing! Game Boy Color
Vigilante 8
2000 Polaris SnoCross Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, PlayStation
Terminus Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux
Spider-Man Game Boy Color
The Wild Thornberrys: Rambler
Pro Darts
Barbie: Magic Genie Adventure
Jimmy White's Cue Ball
2001 Wanadoo SnowCross Game Boy Color, Microsoft Windows
Rescue Heroes: Fire Frenzy Game Boy Color
Blue's Clues: Blue's Alphabet Book
SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula
Zoboomafoo: Playtime in Zobooland
Monsters, Inc.
Kelly Club: Clubhouse Fun
Sea-Doo Hydrocross PlayStation
Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Game Boy Advance
Power Rangers: Time Force
Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace
2002 Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Frogger Advance: The Great Quest
SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
The Powerpuff Girls: Him and Seek
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 Game Boy Advance, PlayStation
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast GameCube, Xbox
Whiteout Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
2003 The Muppets: On With The Show! Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows
Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced Game Boy Advance
Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend
X2: Wolverine's Revenge
Finding Nemo
Jet Set Radio
Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure
Disney's The Lion King 1½
Tony Hawk's Underground
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
Disney's Brother Bear
Crash Nitro Kart Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, N-Gage
Spy Muppets: License to Croak Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Xbox
2004 Rivet Mobile phone
Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock
Shrek 2 Game Boy Advance
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy
Shark Tale
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
That's So Raven
Shrek 2: Beg For Mercy!
Kids Next Door: Operation S.O.D.A.
Spider-Man 2 Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable
2005 Doom 3 Xbox
Madagascar: Operation Penguin Game Boy Advance
Batman Begins
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse PlayStation Portable
Madagascar Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
Ultimate Spider-Man
Tony Hawk's American Sk8land
2006 Over the Hedge
Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts Game Boy Advance
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam Nintendo DS
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance PlayStation Portable, Wii
2007 Spider-Man 3 Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii
Shrek the Third Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Wii
Transformers: Decepticons Nintendo DS
Transformers: Autobots
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
Bee Movie Game
2008 Kung Fu Panda
Guitar Hero: On Tour
Quantum of Solace
Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Wii
Guitar Hero World Tour
2009 Guitar Hero 5
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Band Hero Nintendo DS, Wii
Mixed Messages DSiWare
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Decepticons Nintendo DS
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Autobots
Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits
2010 Transformers War for Cybertron: Decepticons
Transformers War for Cybertron: Autobots
Guitar Hero iOS
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Wii
2011 Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Nintendo 3DS
2012 Skylanders: Cloud Patrol iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
Skylanders: Lost Islands iOS, Android
Skylanders: Battlegrounds
Skylanders: Giants Wii U
2013 Skylanders: Swap Force PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U,[5] Xbox 360, Xbox One
2014 Skylanders: Trap Team iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
2015 Skylanders: SuperChargers PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, iOS
2016, 2017 Skylanders: Imaginators Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2017 Destiny 2 Microsoft Windows
2017, 2018 Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
2019 Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Canceled games[edit]

Year Game Platform(s)
2000 AMF Xtreme Bowling Game Boy Color
VR Powerboat Racing
Carnivale
2001 Sea-Doo Hydrocross Dreamcast, Game Boy Color, N64
2008 Call of Duty: Roman Wars Microsoft Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
2010 DJ Hero 3D 3DS
2011 Guitar Hero 7 PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
2012 Untitled Crash Bandicoot game
2017 Untitled Skylanders game PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, Wii U

References[edit]

  1. ^ Futter, Mike (April 5, 2016). "Vicarious Visions Co-Founder Brothers Depart After 25 Years". Game Informer. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Report: Job Losses At Vicarious Visions". Nintendo World Report. June 10, 2011.
  3. ^ McWhertor, Michael (December 8, 2016). "Destiny Development Team Expands With Vicarious Visions". Polygon. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Vicarious Visions Acquires Intrinsic Graphics Technology". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  5. ^ East, Thomas (July 2, 2013). "Skylanders Swap Force Wii will be very close to the HD versions". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2013.

External links[edit]