Activision Inc., the nation's second-largest videogame publisher, has bought closely held Vicarious Visions for an undisclosed price to help it develop new games.

Vicarious Visions has created five games that have sold more than 1 million copies each and is currently developing ``Doom 3'' for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox game system and "Spider-Man 2" for the upcoming PSP platform, Santa Monica-based Activision said in a release Wednesday.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vicarious Visions' 100-person studio, headquartered in Troy, N.Y., with offices in Mountain View, has become a unit of Activision. Vicarious Visions' management team and key employees have signed long-term employment contracts with Activision.

Shares of Activision fell 1.1 percent, to $21.36 in early afternoon trading.

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