Spyro/Crash Bandicoot Developer Ditches Activision, Goes Indie

This year has been filled with bad video game industry news. Layoffs every week. Thousands of jobs cut. Studios closing. It’s awful stuff. So I’m here to share some good news. Toys For Bob, the studio behind Crash Bandicoot 4 and the remastered Spyro collection, is leaving Activision and becoming an independent studio.

Why This Under-the-Radar AAA Title Is More Than Just A Far Cry Clone

In a February 29 blog post on its official website, studio heads Paul Yan and Avery Lodato announced that Toys For Bob is being spun off into an independent game development studio.

“We believe that now is the time to take the studio and our future games to the next level,” explained Yan and Lodato in the post. “This opportunity allows us to return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio.”

Also announced in the blog post is the news that Toys For Bob is “exploring” a possible partnership with Microsoft. But don’t expect the studio’s next game anytime soon. Toys For Bob’s heads made it clear that it’s still “in the early days” of developing its next game and are “a ways away” from announcing anything about it.

“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,” said Yan and Lodato. “So, keep your horns on and your eyes out for more news. Thank you to our community of players for always supporting us through our journey. We can’t wait to share updates on our new adventure as an indie studio!”

As part of this transition, it appears that online party platformer Crash Team Rumble will no longer be updated with new content.

A 35-year-old studio gets to keep on making games

Toys For Bob was founded in California in 1989 by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. The studio saw success in the early ‘90s with the release of Star Control and its sequel, which are often considered some of the best games ever made. Since then, it has worked on numerous games, big and small.

In 2005 it was bought up by Activision, and in 2011 it released the first game in the popular toys-to-life series, Skylanders. Toys For Bob would continue work on that series and would also remaster the first three Spyro games as well develop a new entry in the beloved Crash Bandicoot series.

However, by 2021, the studio was tasked with supporting Call of Duty, alongside every other developer owned by Activision. After Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard in 2023 and announced 1,900+ layoffsToys For Bob was hit hard. The studio lost 89 people and its offices in Novato, California were closed.

Now, however, it seems Toys For Bob will get a chance to live on. That’s something not every game studio these days gets to do and I hope it works out well for the folks over there. We deserve good news more than ever. I’ll take it.


Shout Out!!!

Related articles