Gamasutra has learned that Activision has closed the doors on its Mountain View office, the California-based division of Spider-Man 3 co-developer Vicarious Visions, the New York-based developer that the company acquired in early 2005.
Maryanne Lataif, vice president of corporate communications at Activision, confirmed to Gamasutra that the studio, which reportedly held around 20-30 people, closed yesterday, June 6. The closure, she said, was made in order for the company to further concentrate on the New York-based development teams of Vicarious Visions.
While some of the staff at the Mountain View office may still be relocated within the company, the majority have been reportedly been laid off. However, the closure does not seem to have affected operations at Vicarious Visions' Albany, New York-based East coast headquarters.
Vicarious Visions was founded in 1991 by Guha and Karthik Bala, brothers who live in New York State. The company came to prominence in 1999 when its epic space combat RPG, Terminus, won the awards for Best Programming and Best Audio at the first Game Developers Conference Independent Games Festival [part of CMP, as is Gamasutra.]
Since that time, Vicarious Visions has grown to employ over 160 people and to produce games for numerous platforms. The company's most notable work has included multiple versions of the Tony Hawk series for Game Boy Advance and DS, as well as work on the Xbox version of Doom III and Wii and PSP versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
However, the closure of the office comes immediately following the completion of Spider-Man 3, a title with a mixed critical reception, for which Treyarch produced the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, but for which Vicarious Visions created the remaining non-PC SKUs (Wii, PS2, DS, GBA).