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Activision’s Skylanders, Crash Bandicoot studio Toys for Bob going independent

Toys for Bob – the Activision Blizzard studio behind the likes of Skylanders, Crash Bandicoot 4, and the Spyro remasters – has announced it’s parting ways with Activision to become an independent company once more. It also says it’s “exploring a possible partnership” with Microsoft as development on its new game gets underway.

Toys for Bob, which was founded back in 1989, formed a publishing partnership with Activision in the 2000s that would lead to the studio’s acquisition by the publisher in 2005. Toys for Bob has been part of Activision Blizzard ever since, initially working on the hugely popular toys-to-life Skylanders series before developing 2018 remaster Spyro Reignited Trilogy and 2020’s well-received Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Since then, it’s served as a support studio for Call of Duty

while also releasing last year’s Crash Team Rumble.

Earlier this month, following Microsoft’s $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard and subsequent decision to lay off 1,900 workers across its Xbox teams, it was confirmed 86 Toys for Bob employees had lost their jobs. It was also reported the studio’s physical office would be shutting down and that remaining staff would transition to working from home. And it’s in this context that Toys for Bob has now announced it’s splitting from Activision to go independent.

Crash Team Rumble™ – Reveal Trailer

Toys for Bob released Crash Team Rumble last year.

“Over the years, we’ve inspired love, joy, and laughter for the inner child in all gamers,” the studio wrote in a statement shared on its website. “We pioneered new IP and hardware technologies in Skylanders. We raised the bar for best-in-class remasters in Spyro Reignited Trilogy. We’ve taken Crash Bandicoot to innovative, critically acclaimed new heights.”

“With the same enthusiasm and passion,” it continued, “we believe that now is the time to take the studio and our future games to the next level. This opportunity allows us to return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio.”

The statement also noted Toys for Bob is “exploring a possible partnership between our new studio and Microsoft”, adding that it’s currently “in the early days of developing our next new game” and still “a ways away from making any announcements”.

“Our friends at Activision and Microsoft have been extremely supportive of our new direction and we’re confident that we will continue to work closely together as part of our future,” the studio concluded. “So, keep your horns on and your eyes out for more news.”

As for what the studio might be working next, that’s unclear. Xbox boss Phil Spencer last year said he was keen to work with studios to revive some of Activision’s dormant franchises, while an official tweet in January had some believing a new Spyro game might be on the way. Whether Toys for Bob’s talk of a continuing close relationship with Activision and Microsoft following its independence means it could still be involved in such projects remains to be seen.


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