Vicarious Visions

Location: Albany, NY

Founded: 1991

Website: http://www.vvisions.com/

Guha and Karthik Bala started Vicarious Visions in the basement of their parents’ home in 1991 while the two were still in high school. In 1994, the company was incorporated and moved to a college dorm room. Vicarious Visions signed its first publishing deal for the Synnergist PC CD-ROM that same year.


Notable Products

  • Guitar Hero: Warrior of Rock
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron series
  • Band Hero Wii
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
  • James Bond: Quantum of Solace
  • Kung Fu Panda

What to Expect

After a decade of game development and growth, Activision acquired Vicarious Visions in 2005. Today, the Albany studio is best known for developing games from licensed IPs like Transformers, James Bond, Guitar Hero, and Marvel properties. The company has created more than 100 software titles, selling over 25 million units with $1 billion in retail sales. Not too shabby for two brothers from Rochester. Karthik Bala still serves as CEO and chief creative officer. Co-founder Guha Bala oversees day-to-day management of the company as president.

At any given time, Vicarious Visions employs about 150 developers in the fields of programming, art, design, audio, animation, production, and quality assurance, among other areas. While the company does not often offer internships, a limited number of programming co-ops are made available depending on the needs of the studio. Co-ops are typically a full-time commitment for one semester (spring or fall) and the following school vacation (winter or summer). Interested students may forward a cover letter and résumé to Vicarious Visions via its official website. Keep in mind that positions are competitive and may not be offered at all times. Vicarious Visions does hire recent graduates to entry-level positions when available. Potential applicants can review all open roles by visiting the company’s website.

The upstate New York studio is located inside a converted 50,000-square-foot warehouse. Unlike the dark and dank environment one might imagine a warehouse to provide, the development floor that houses most of the creative teams is illuminated by natural light through several large windows. The atmosphere of the studio is, in fact, a bright and vibrant one. Of course, staff members require certain luxuries to make the long hours and crunch time of game development less intimidating; the studio also provides cabinet arcade games, a rooftop patio, and huge kitchen, which are key gathering spots for employees. As with any good game studio, the kitchen at VV is always stocked with caffeine and carbs. Yoo-hoo is a favorite among the team. Other perks of employment include product discounts from Activision, company field trips, and in-house events.

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