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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


Activision Acquires Game Developer Vicarious Visions

by Judy on Jan. 20, 2005 @ 8:04 a.m. PST

Activision today announced that it has acquired game developer Vicarious Visions, most recently known for Spider-Man 2 on NDS. Vicarious Visions' proven proprietary Alchemy middleware technology and tools will be combined with Activision's next-generation tools and libraries to further enhance the company's overall development efforts.

The acquisition underscores Activision's strategy to continue building its technical infrastructure in order to take full advantage of the high-growth potential of the next-generation hardware platforms by acquiring technical and design talent with a history of high-quality product creation, while over time enhancing the company's financial operating model.

Vicarious Visions has developed five games that have sold more than one million-units each and is currently co-developing the highly anticipated DOOM 3(TM) for the Xbox with id Software, as well as Spider-Man 2, which will be a launch title for the upcoming PSP platform. In addition, they have developed such popular titles for the Game Boy Advance as Shrek 2(TM), Shrek 2: Beg for Mercy(TM), DreamWorks' Shark Tale(TM) and Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro(TM) for the PlayStation game console.

Kathy Vrabeck, President of Activision Publishing, said, "Vicarious Visions' talented development team and proprietary technology combined with our internal systems and capabilities will play a key role in Activision's continued leadership on the next-generation platforms. Vicarious Visions has a track record of success and we are very excited to partner with them."

Under the terms of the agreement, Vicarious Visions' 100-person studio, headquartered in Troy, NY, with offices in Mountain View, CA, has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision. As part of the transaction, Vicarious Visions' management team and key employees have signed long-term employment contracts with Activision.

"We have shared a strong relationship with Activision over the past five years on platforms ranging from Game Boy Color to most recently the Nintendo DS, Xbox and Sony PSP," said Karthik Bala, CEO of Vicarious Visions. "Joining the Activision family seemed like the logical next step and we look forward to continuing to build great games and a great company together."

Guha Bala, President of Vicarious Visions adds, "We've always admired Activision's ability to expand and evolve with the ever changing video game industry. Their franchises include some of our favorites, and their strong marketing and development capability makes them a great partner for our studio."

Vicarious Visions (, a leading game development studio, has gained critical acclaim with hit titles for top brands such as Tony Hawk, Spider-Man®, Crash Bandicoot®, SpongeBob Square Pants® and Star Wars®. Vicarious Visions' games are known for pushing technical boundaries to deliver addictive gameplay and immersive art that bring favorite characters and worlds to life for portable, console, and PC gamers. Vicarious Visions is also home to the pioneering Vicarious Visions Alchemy(TM) middleware technology and tools, which has been used to power a number of hit titles.

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