Activision is facing backlash from fans of the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot franchises, after they moved the studio responsible for Crash Bandicoot 4 and Spyro: Reignited Trilogy to Call of Duty: Warzone development. Many fans are touting the move as the end of the Spyro and recently revitalized Crash Bandicoot franchises.
Reports also surfaced claiming that Activision has laid off a number of Toys For Bob employees recently. In a statement on Friday, Activision denied reports of layoffs at the studio, saying "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 original reports of "layoffs" appear to stem from a Tweet published by former Toys For Bob Character Designer Nicholas Kole, who stated: "It's the end of an era, but I wish my former coworkers still with TFB all the best with what's ahead!"
He followed up in a response to a comment, "everyone I interfaced with and worked along [at Toys For Bob] was let go."
In some cases "let go" is a term used to mean layoffs, which are constituted by a reduction in the workforce of a company. In this case, according to Activision, the employees who are no longer with the company were not laid off and the studio is still operating at maximum capacity.
Blake Maloof, who was a game designer on Crash and Spyro, also confirmed on Twitter that they no longer work for Toys For Bob, but they clarified that they left on their own terms.
With Toys For Bob joining the Warzone development family with Raven Software, a total of nine Activision studios are now devoted to supporting and developing Call of Duty titles. The studios that are currently dedicated to COD titles are:
- Raven Software (Warzone)
- Toys For Bob (Warzone)
- Treyarch (Cold War)
- Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare)
- Activision Shanghai (Call of Duty Online)
- High Moon Studios
Fans outraged by Activision's decision to put Crash and Spyro on the backburner
Fans of Toys For Bob's work took to Twitter to express their anger at Activision's choice to move them from the beloved franchises they develop, over to Call of Duty. Some fans drew a parallel between this situation and Activision's decision early this year to move Vicarious Visions off of the Tony Hawk skating game franchise to support Diablo 2: Resurrected.
While Toys For Bob will be moving over to COD for the near future, that doesn't mean they won't return to the mascot platformers they are known for at some point. Even if they do return, it looks like a lot of the talent that brought us Crash 4 and the Spyro remaster has already left the studio.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.