Toys For Bob Splits from Activision Blizzard and Microsoft to Go Independent

Toys For Bob Splits from Activision Blizzard and Microsoft to Go Independent

The video games industry has been experiencing significant turmoil as companies prioritize shareholder satisfaction, often at the expense of their employees. In the midst of layoffs and closures, Skylanders studio Toys For Bob has made the bold decision to split from both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft to become an independent entity. This move comes after reports of Activision Blizzard closing Toys For Bob’s California headquarters and laying off 86 employees, raising questions about the future of the studio.

Despite the challenges they have faced, Toys For Bob is optimistic about their future as an independent studio. Studio heads Paul Yan and Avery Lodato expressed their belief that now is the time to take the studio to the next level and return to their roots as a small and nimble operation. They have also hinted at possible partnerships with Microsoft as they work on new projects. While the exact size of the current team at Toys For Bob remains unclear, the studio’s decision to go independent signifies a new chapter in their journey.

Toys For Bob has a rich history, dating back to its founding in 1989 by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. Known for developing the original Star Control series, the studio later expanded its portfolio with titles such as The Horde and Skylanders. Their innovative use of physical toys to enhance gameplay in Skylanders foreshadowed the rise of similar concepts like Nintendo’s Amiibo. In recent years, Toys For Bob has been responsible for remastering classic titles like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, as well as developing new games like Crash Bandicoot 4.

Despite the challenges they have faced, Toys For Bob remains committed to creating new stories, characters, and gameplay experiences for their audience. While they are in the early stages of developing their next project, the studio is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. It will be interesting to see the direction they take as an independent studio, free from the constraints of larger corporations.

In a surprising turn of events, the original founders of Toys For Bob, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, left the studio in 2020 to work on a new project. Their studio, Pistol Shrimp, is currently developing Ur-Quan Masters 2, a sequel to the beloved Star Control series. This new endeavor represents a fresh start for the creators, as they explore new ideas and technologies in the world of gaming. The recent release of Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters on Steam showcases their commitment to keeping the legacy of Star Control alive.

Toys For Bob’s decision to go independent marks a new chapter in the studio’s history. Despite the challenges they have faced, the team remains optimistic about the future and eager to explore new possibilities in the world of gaming. As they continue to develop their next project, fans eagerly await to see what innovative and exciting experiences Toys For Bob will bring to the table.


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