Skip to main content
Enter search terms below…

Member News

Vicarious Visions Adding 115 Jobs, Investing $7.3 Million In Albany



By Chelsea DianaAlbany Business Review

Vicarious Visions, the Albany video game studio that has been working hard on the latest iteration of the "Destiny" franchise, is expanding with a new office and planning to hire more than 100 employees.

The company is investing more than $7.3 million to move and fit up a new 44,000-square-foot office in Colonie, according to a press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. As part of this expansion, Vicarious Visions plans to add 115 employees. The release did not say where in Colonie the office will be based.

Vicarious Visions is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI). The studio employs 200 developers, artists and producers, and has produced popular video games like "Guitar Hero," "Call of Duty" and the "Skylanders" franchise, which is worth $3 billion.

Studio head Jennifer Oneal was promoted to the top position in 2016, after Vicarious Visions’ founders, Guha and Karthik Bala, left to create a new company.

The Balas started the studio in 1991 while they were in high school in Rochester, and grew the company at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, while Karthik Bala was getting his undergraduate degree. They sold it to Activision in 2005 for $5.3 million.

Under Oneal’s leadership, Vicarious Visions has been on a hiring spree, bringing in new artists and engineers to work on one of the most popular first-person shooter games in the industry — “Destiny.”

The studio is working with Bungie, a Seattle developer that is known for making "Halo" and "Destiny," on the project. It's a more mature title for Vicarious Visions, and the company has changed its branding to match that.

Vicarious Visions currently has nine jobs listed on its careers page, including a job for a senior recruiter.

Empire State Development is supporting Vicarious Visions' move with up to $2 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits, according to the release. Vicarious Visions has been based in Menands near Albany.

The video game industry employs around 450 people in the region. Video game executives believe the region's industry can grow to employ thousands of people. To do so, they have been pushing for New York state to give digital media and gaming companies a 25 percent tax credit. It would be an extension of the film industry tax credit that offers $420 million a year in tax breaks for film and movie productions.

Albany Business Review recently interviewed Oneal about her goals to hire a diverse staff to reflect a changing, and growing, audience of gamers. Watch the video. 

A Recovery Helpline to assist residents dealing with recovery and addiction issues has been launched today by Rensselaer County, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced. Residents can reach the Recovery Helpline at 1-833-HOPE-123 or 1-833-467-3123 to receive information, resources or referrals for themselves or anyone needing help with…
When the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami struck Dec. 26 of that year it took the lives of more than 227,000 people. Despite being well into the Internet Era, warning systems on a broad international scale were nonexistent, as remote areas of Indonesia, Thailand and India suffered unfathomable loss. But 14 years later, gaps still remain in rural…
The Chazen Companies is pleased to announce Roger Fast, CBO, CFM has joined the growing code services team as Senior Code Analyst located at 12655 SW Center Street, Suite 350 in Beaverton, Oregon. In recent years, Chazen partnered with Code Unlimited, LLC working on a variety of projects throughout New York State. As the need for code services…
Oct
23
Manufacturers employ more than 12 million people in the US and contribute $2.25 trillion to the US economy annually. Locally employment in manufacturing…
7:30 a.m. Check-in & Breakfast; 8-9:30 a.m. Panel Discussion
Oct
26
Celebrate CEO's newest head start classroom located at Griswold Heights. For years, families living at the Troy Housing Authority’s Griswold Heights…
11:00 a.m.
Nov
01
Celebrate exceptional businesses that have positively impacted the region’s economy and way of life. In partnership with Rensselaer County, the "Good News…
11:30 a.m. Check-in & Luncheon; 12-1 p.m. Awards Ceremony