Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is six months old, and I’m suddenly very curious to know hard numbers on how it sold. Because it sounds like developer Toys For Bob is undergoing a hard pivot, including layoffs and a shift to supporting Call of Duty: Warzone.
The Call of Duty news comes from the studio’s official Twitter account, where Toys For Bob announced it’s now working on the third season of Warzone.
— Toys For Bob (@ToysForBob) April 29, 2021
According to a statement issued to GamesRadar, the studio is still technically the lead developer on Crash Bandicoot 4, which was rumored to be getting a new competitive mode for several months. Though nothing has come of those rumors and reports since.
“Toys for Bob remains the lead developer on Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and is dedicated to delivering engaging game play experiences for fans now and in the future,” an Activision spokesperson told GamesRadar.
Notably, the phrasing doesn’t say Toys For Bob is actually putting anything out for Crash Bandicoot 4, and the statement could easily be read as the company making two distinct statements: no one is being handed Crash Bandicoot 4 to work on it without the original dev team, and also Toys For Bob is still making games.
Besides a studio that had worked most recently on platformers and re-imaginings of some beloved, long-lost IP like Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot being absorbed into the gaping maw of Activision’s Call of Duty machine, the other bad news that makes it all harder to swallow is that there appear to have been layoffs at Toys For Bob in the midst of this shift. Character designer Nicholas Kole said in a tweet “everyone I interfaced with and worked along was let go, I’m very glad it’s not a totally shuttering.”
Same! Altho everyone I interfaced with and worked along was let go, I’m very glad it’s not a totally shuttering
— Nicholas Kole (@FromHappyRock) April 30, 2021
In other news:
- Everything You Missed From Today’s Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart State of Play
- Resident Evil Re:Verse Multiplayer Delayed, Won’t Launch Alongside Village
- Sega Seemingly Teasing a Judgment Sequel and Not at All Subtly
Activision using its studios to support its annual Call of Duty machine is par for the course at this point, and according to VGC’s Andy Robinson, “virtually every studio at Activision is now working on Call of Duty.” The same thing happened to Singularity developer Raven Software, which was made into a COD support studio in 2010 and hasn’t put out a game of its own since.
In other Activision news, the company’s CEO is receiving a pay cut. But he’s still richer than God and developers are being laid off.