Amid mass layoffs, Crash Bandicoot and Warzone studio Toys for Bob is going indie, but says it's exploring a "possible" partnership with Xbox

Crash Bandicoot 4 It's About Time
(Image credit: Toys for Bob)

Two weeks after it laid off at least 86 developers, Crash Bandicoot 4 studio Toys for Bob has announced it's splitting off from Activision and going independent.

In a blog post, studio heads Paul Yan and Avery Lodato don't give an exact reason for the move, but say it'll allow them to "return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio." The news is particularly notable within the context of mass layoffs not only at Toys for Bob but seemingly almost everywhere else in the video game industry as well.

Although it's splitting off from Activision and its parent company, Microsoft, Toys for Bob says it's "exploring a possible partnership between our new studio and Microsoft." It's unclear if that means there's a potential exclusivity deal in the works, but Yan and Lodato say they're "in the early days of developing our next new game and a ways away from making any announcements." They also tease that they're "excited to develop new stories, new characters, and new gameplay experiences."

"Our friends at Activision and Microsoft have been extremely supportive of our new direction and we’re confident that we will continue to work closely together as part of our future."

I won't try to give a comprehensive account of the climate around industry layoffs in a news story, but here's a very basic overview of the biggest reductions in just this year alone: Microsoft cut almost 2,000 devs across Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and Zenimax; Riot let go more than 500 workers and closed down its young indie publishing arm; Sony laid off 900 people - impacting major studios like Naughty Dog and Insomniac - and shuttered PlayStation London entirely; and Unity made 1,800 jobs redundant and reduced its workforce by 25%.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.