Activision turns Crash 4 dev into Warzone support studio, denies layoff rumors

Update: Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob has confirmed it is supporting development on Call of Duty: Warzone, but Activision denies layoff rumors.

Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob has confirmed it's supporting development on Call of Duty: Warzone amid rumors of layoffs at the Activision-owned studio. 

In a tweet posted yesterday, the studio said it will be assisting with development on Season 3 of Call of Duty: Warzone, with the popular free-to-play battle royale mode having recently passed 100 million players. It's currently unclear if this will be the studio's main role moving forward. 

The change is direction has raised questions over the current state and future of the studio, which has previously worked on remakes and sequels to classic Activision franchises including Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and Crash Bandicoot 4

Some former employees and contractors have indicated the pivot came at the cost of layoffs. Nicholas Kole, who worked as a contract character artist on Spryo Reignited and Crash Bandicoot 4, claimed that "everyone I interfaced with and worked along was let go. I’m very glad it’s not totally shuttering."

Spyro and Crash game designer Blake Maloof, who spent over a decade at the studio according to their Linkedin profile, corroborated those rumors on Twitter, adding "I no longer work at Toys for Bob."

Activision acquired Toys for Bob back in 2005, initially tasking the studio with helping Vicarious Visions develop Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam before putting it to work on the Skylanders franchise.

We've reached out to Activision for comment.

Update [4/30/21 4:35 PM ET]: Activision has confirmed Toys for Bob is on hand to support development of Call of Duty: Warzone, but denies the studio experienced recent layoffs due to the shift.

"Reports of layoffs at Toys For Bob are incorrect," a company spokesperson tells Gamasutra. "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 studio is excited to continue supporting Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and more recently provide additional development support to Call of Duty: Warzone."

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