Crash Bandicoot developer and Call of Duty support studio Toys for Bob won’t be closing down after all. Previous rumors suggesting that the studio is closing up shop for good have been quashed, though it is moving out of its office and shifting to a remote operation. The studio has also been hit with more layoffs.
According to Seasoned Gaming’s Ains Bowden, “it seems the physical office was shut down and some employees were let go. But the studio itself is still active with a majority staff of remote workers.” Bowden had moved to correct a previous post stipulating that the studio had closed for good. This was quickly corroborated by Windows Central’s Jez Corden, who “also got confirmation that Toys for Bob is not closing down.”
According to state filings spotted by the San Francisco Chronicle, 86 employees were let go in the latest round of layoffs that have so far seen Microsoft cut roughly 1,900 workers from its gaming division. Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson reported that 35 members of Toys for Bob’s staff had been let go at the end of last month. Regardless of whether this is a further 86 being laid off, or another 51 on top of Henderson’s initial figure, it’s still a major blow for the legacy studio that has helped produce some of the best games out there.
Having operated for over 30 years, Toys for Bob is one of the oldest studios in the game. The creators of the Skylanders franchise, Toys for Bob has lent its talents to iconic IPs like Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and Call of Duty over the years. Last year it launched Crash Team Rumble, while assisting Sledgehammer Games with Call of Duty MW3.
Toys for Bob seems to be following a similar cadence to Sledgehammer, which last month announced that it was closing up its Foster City HQ to search for a new home. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 76 layoffs had been made during that process, with the rest of the force moving to remote working for the foreseeable future.
The industry is certainly in a precarious position currently as it continues to contract. Microsoft in particular is feeling the strain, not only with these current layoffs, but also when it comes to what it wants to do with its Xbox division long-term. For more on that, check out the Xbox exclusives that could be shifting to multiplatform, including Gears of War, Indiana Jones, and more.