Crash Bandicoot 4 studio Toys For Bob split from Activision and Microsoft to go independent

By admin Mar1,2024

As the video games industry violently contracts to ensure shareholder satisfaction at the cost of making thousands upon thousands of people unemployed, Skylanders studio Toys For Bob have announced they’re splitting from Activision Blizzard and Microsoft to go independent. Good for them, but maybe too late for some. Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it seemed Activision Blizzard were closing Toys For Bob’s California headquarters and laying off 86 people. Still, the new independent Toys For Bob say they’re working on something new and “exploring a possible partnership” with Microsoft.

Toys For Bob studio heads Paul Yan and Avery Lodato said in yesterday’s blog post they “believe that now is the time to take the studio and our future games to the next level,” adding that it “allows us to return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio.” Toys For Bob haven’t said anything about the reported layoffs, so exactly how “small” they currently are is a bit of a mystery.

The studio that would come to be called Toys For Bob was founded in 1989 by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. Their first releases were the original two games in the venerable Star Control series. After a few more games of their own, including The Horde, they spent a decade working on Disney and Dreamworks games before hitting it big with Skylanders, the Spyro spin-off which used physical toys to pick your characters (presaging Nintendo’s Amiibo). In recent years, they were behind the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot remaster trilogies and the brand-new Crash Bandicoot 4, before becoming one of the 700 Activision studios drafted to chip in on Call Of Duty games.

Yan and Lodato say Toys For Bob are “in the early days of developing our next new game and a ways away from making any announcements,” but are “excited to develop new stories, new characters, and new gameplay experiences.” I would find it very, very funny if they decide actually yes CoD is their passion, and they want to make a Warzone-esque battle royale FPS.

As for Star Control, Reiche and Ford left Toys For Bob in 2020 to make a new one, kinda. Their studio, Pistol Shrimp are working on Ur-Quan Masters 2, a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters, which is itself kinda already Star Control 2, only with the name untangled from a messy legal battle with Stardock that was only settled with help from bees. For now, they recently released Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters completely free on Steam.

By admin

Related Post