A trend that continues to grow with plenty of COVID-era practices being shuttered is layoffs throughout the video game industry. While studios bulked on staff when self-distancing then, it is now cleaning house of excess employees in massive waves. Some of the largest being Riot Games back in January.
Additionally, Microsoft has issued a similar slam of the hammer with more than 1,900 employees let go. This decision also shuttered effort on an internal AAA fantasy RPG IP from Blizzard Entertainment. In a new development from the mass layoff at the Xbox firm, it also disclosed that divisions pertaining to the platform’s physical distribution were also closed then.
However, a new report from The San Francisco Chronicle shared that a new Activision firing wave hit Toys for Bob. roughly 162 employees were laid off at the Bay Area game studio. Worded as “The layoffs in Novato at 4 Hamilton Landing match an address for gaming studio and ‘Skylanders’ creator Toys for Bob, which was acquired by Activision in 2005. The facility will also be closing, according to a state filing.”
In a reasonable response, outlets reported the team is closing for good as remaining staff is expected to be let go in tangent to the recent mass firing. However, that appears not to be the case with a second look. From SeasonedGaming editor-in-chief Ainsley Bowden, he deleted the post after new developments on the matter. “Correction: I deleted my prior post about Toys for Bob because it was seemingly incorrect.”
“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. Apologies!” Corroborating his statement, Windows Central Gaming’s Jez Corden also responds to his post in a Quote. “I also got confirmation that Toys for Bob is not closing down.” This is not the first that Activision acted upon firings in a similar manner.
Previously, it was reported that Sledgehammer Games also closed its home office in Foster City, California. Instead, the team would be relocated to a smaller building to operate after the firings. The report also referenced work on a new Call of Duty aimed for release in 2027. You can read the full report by heading here.
What are your thoughts on the recent handling of Activision layoffs?