Gamers demand Toys for Bob revive Banjo-Kazooie after shutdown scare

Gamers demand Toys for Bob revive Banjo-Kazooie after shutdown scare
Images via Toys for Bob | Rare

Written by 

Tom Chapman


8th Feb 2024 16:29

We're off to an uncomfortable start in 2024, and while we hoped we could leave mass layoffs in 2023, the start of the year is proving to be even more of a bloodbath. Among the biggest was the surprise announcement that Microsoft was axing 1,900 jobs from across its gaming arm.

The Green Team looked to be in a healthy place thanks to the Activision Blizzard King deal, but proving no one was safe, a big chunk of these losses have come from the very studios caught up in the crossfire. The latest hit comes from Crash Bandicoot developer Toys for Bob, although it looks like it's scraping through.

The Toys for Bob situation explained

February 8 has been something of a roller coaster, as reports swirled that the developer behind 2020's beloved Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time was being shuttered. If this was the case, you could pretty much kiss goodbye to the spinning marsupial - at least for now.

Instead, it seems some outlets jumped the gun. While Toys for Bob has reportedly been struck with 86 layoffs, it's not completely gone. Instead, the physical office is being closed and everyone is moving remotely. Even though it's not exactly good news, it's not the death knell that was being reported. 

Toys for Bob is just about safe, and with it, there are high hopes that the team can band together and come back stronger than ever. Alongside the long-rumoured Crash Bandicoot 5, there are calls for the devs to resurrect another platformer favourite from the depths of gaming obscurity.

Gamers want Toys for Bob to make a Banjo-Kazooie revival

Banjo-Kazooie Xbox
Click to enlarge
Image via Rare | Microsoft

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When Seasoned Gaming Editor-In-Chief Ains corrected earlier reports that Toys for Bob would be going under, he also shared a gif of Banjo from the beloved Banjo-Kazooie games knocking at the window. We've heard it before, but with Toys for Bob living to fight another day, we need a Banjo-Kazooie revival.

Toys for Bob's future remains unclear. It was chopped and changed around to serve as a support studio on Call of Duty: Warzone, then delivered the underwhelming Crash Team Rumble. Crash 5 looks like an easy bet for the next title, but what if we go off-piste and bring back the bear and bird? 

Celebrating the news, one fan wrote, "Toys for Bob isn’t closing down. It would be great to see them on a new Spyro, Crash or even a Banjo game."  Still, there were sceptics. One said, "It would take 20 years for the 5 people left there to make a game" and another concluded, "Not gonna happen, they are a CoD support studio now."

Despite Banjo-Kazooie having its start on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, original developer Rare was later bought by Microsoft. The franchise has lay dormant since the Xbox 360's maligned Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, although the characters appeared as fighters in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The original team has nixed the idea of a revival, although Xbox overlord Phil Spencer gave a shout-out in a December 2023 interview with Windows Central, saying, "We haven't touched every franchise that people would love us to touch — Banjo fans, I hear you." Come on Toys for Bob, give us the Banjo-Kazooie revival we deserve. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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