Toys for Bob, Inc.
is an American video game developer
based in Novato, California
. The studio originated as a partnership between Paul Reiche III
and Fred Ford
. They had separately attended the University of California, Berkeley
in the late 1970s, before entering the video game industry
in the early 1980s. They later met through mutual friends in 1988, when Reiche was seeking a programmer to develop Star Control
. This led to the creation of their partnership in 1989 and the debut of Star Control
in 1990. The release was considered a landmark science fiction
game and led to the 1992 sequel Star Control II
, which greatly expanded the series' story and scale. Star Control II
is celebrated as one of the greatest games of all time
and is featured on several "best of" lists for music, writing, world design, and character design.
The studio adopted the name Toys for Bob, as a way to stimulate curiosity and differentiate
themselves from other studios. With Crystal Dynamics
as their publisher
, they developed several games, including The Horde
, and The Unholy War
. In the early 2000s, the studio transitioned to working on licensed games before being laid off by Crystal Dynamics. With Terry Falls as a co-owner, Reiche and Ford incorporated
the studio in 2002. Activision
became their publisher soon after, and eventually acquired
the studio in 2005. Toys for Bob created the Skylanders
series when Activision merged with Vivendi Games
and acquired the Spyro
franchise. The developers at Toys for Bob had already been experimenting with using physical toys to interact with video games and believed that this technology would be ideal for Spyro'
s universe of characters. Credited with inventing the toys-to-life
genre, the 2011 release of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
was considered a technological and commercial breakthrough. This led to a spinoff series with several successful games, generating a billion dollars in revenue for Activision in the first 15 months and winning several awards. In 2018, Toys for Bob assisted with the development of the remaster
compilations Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
and Spyro Reignited Trilogy
, earning a reputation leading a revival of properties from the original PlayStation
. (Full article...