UPDATE: Activision has issued a statement denying any layoffs. We apologize for the original headline of “Crash 4 Developers Move to Call of Duty: Warzone Amid Layoffs.” View the full statement below:
“Reports of layoffs at Toys For Bob are incorrect. There has not been a reduction in personnel recently at the studio. The development team is operating fully and has a number of full-time job openings at this time. The studio is excited to continue supporting Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and more recently provide additional development support to Call of Duty: Warzone.”
The original story is below:
Developer Toys for Bob recently caused a stir on social media by tweeting out that they’re starting work helping with the development of Call of Duty: Warzone, a popular battle royale shooter that has quickly become the centerpiece of publisher Activision’s gaming efforts.
Toys for Bob released Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time in 2020, a platformer that was highly regarded by fans of the Crash Bandicoot franchise and critics. Coming after excellent remasters of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy alongside redos of the PS1 Spyro games and Crash Team Racing, many had hoped that Activision would continue to supplement their Call of Duty machine with new games in their platforming franchises.
— Toys For Bob (@ToysForBob) April 29, 2021
Instead, it seems like Activision is doubling down on its premier service game. The announcement comes alongside social media posts from Toys for Bob employees that they’re no longer with the company, a situation that eerily mirrors Activision studio Vicarious Visions and their move to a support studio following the successful release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.
While there’s no official word from Activision regarding their future plans (and there likely will not be until June), insiders have heard rumblings that every developer under the Activision umbrella is working on the Call of Duty franchise in some capacity. The publisher has been laser-focused on that franchise for years, only offering a few scattered releases outside of the first-person shooter series.
Of course, from a business point of view, Activision has a lot of reasons to focus on Call of Duty and Warzone. The free-to-play battle royale reportedly pulled in $3 billion for the company in 2020, making it a success that dwarfs the traditional $60 or $70 boxed release. Many fans of Crash and other Toys for Bob releases may be hurting at this news, but that won’t affect Activision’s pocketbook in the slightest.