“It’s the end of an era.”
Activision has put Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob on Call of Duty: Warzone development duty.
A tweet from the official Toys for Bob Twitter account said the studio was “proud” to support development for Season 3 of Call of Duty Warzone, “and look forward to more to come.”
However, California-based Toys for Bob appears to have suffered staff exits as part of this shift. Character designer and illustrator Nicholas Kole, who worked at Toys for Bob up to January on Crash Bandicoot 4 and, before that, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, tweeted: “it’s the end of an era, but I wish my former coworkers still with TFB all the best with what’s ahead!”
Then: “everyone I interfaced with and worked along was let go, I’m very glad it’s not a totally shuttering.”
Game designer Blake Maloof is another former Toys for Bob developer who tweeted to say they had left the studio. “I left on my own terms,” they said. “I had been needing a change anyways, so this just pushed my decision.”
Activision declined to comment when contacted by Eurogamer this morning.
The news comes hot on the heels of Activision’s announcement that Warzone has over 100 million players, and the Call of Duty series has sold over 400m copies. Clearly, Activision is doubling down on Call of Duty at the expense of some of its other franchises.
The news also follows confirmation that Vicarious Visions, the studio behind the superb Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and, most recently, the well-received Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, was merged into Blizzard after collaborating together “for some time”. Vicarious Visions is now working on the Diablo 2 remake at Blizzard.
It seems the majority of Activision’s studios are now working on Call of Duty. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer, Raven, Beenox, High Moon and now Toys for Bob all contribute to the mega franchise.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Toys for Bob and Crash Bandicoot. Reporter Liam Robertson took to Twitter to say a Crash Bandicoot PvP multiplayer game was in the works.
When the PC version of Crash Bandicoot 4 launched exclusively on Battle.net in March, players weren’t exactly thrilled to discover it’s an always-online game. I imagine the developers at Toys for Bob weren’t thrilled, either.