Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob is going independent

Crash Bandicoot 4 stylized gameplay screen.
Activision Blizzard

Activision studio Toys for Bob — best known for its work on franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Skylanders, and Spyro — is separating from Microsoft and going independent. It isn’t completely leaving Xbox and Activision behind, though, as the studio is looking to form a partnership with those companies.

The developer, which was reportedly impacted heavily by the January 2024 Xbox layoffs, announced the news in a blog post written by studio heads Paul Yan and Avery Lodato. “We believe that now is the time to take the studio and our future games to the next level. This opportunity allows us to return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio,” they wrote. The pair also claims that Toys for Bob is “exploring a possible partnership between our new studio and Microsoft” on whatever game it makes next, although Microsoft won’t have ownership over the studio anymore.

Toys for Bob was established in 1989 and created Star Control. Once it was acquired by Activision in 2004, the studio made some licensed games and ultimately established a name for itself as the developer behind the toys-to-life series Skylanders. After that franchise stopped receiving new entries, Toys for Bob pivoted to work on the remakes of classic Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games, served as a Call of Duty support studio, and helmed Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Crash Team Rumble.

As for what the now-independent Toys for Bob is working on next, Yan and Lodato teased that “while we’re in the early days of developing our next new game and a ways away from making any announcements, our team is excited to develop new stories, new characters, and new gameplay experiences.”

Toys for Bob isn’t the only game studio to separate from its parent company this week. Bloomberg reports that Embracer Group is selling Saber Interactive, the studio behind titles like the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2.

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