According to Game Rant, Toys for Bob is the latest Activision studio to be drafted into the "Call of Duty" franchise. Following other talented developers such as Vicarious Visions, Raven Software, Neversoft, High Moon Studios, and countless others, every Activision-based studio has been assimilated into the "Call of Duty" Borg. Regardless of whether you love or loathe "COD," the idea of different studios known for a wide variety of genres and games being forced to work on only one franchise should frighten gamers of all shapes and sizes.

Why this is bad

Vicarious Visions and Neversoft made the "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" and "Spider-Man" games. Raven Software developed "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" and "X-Men Legends," and Toys for Bob did the "Spyro Reignited Trilogy" and the recent "Crash Bandicoot 4."

These titles cover many different genres such as beat 'em ups, platformers, extreme sports, and many more. Activision has effectively alienated fans of those particular genres and potential markets with this shortsighted decision.

Yes, the "COD" games are consistent sellers, and it has a devoted fanbase, but by putting their eggs in one basket, Activision has left entire markets untapped. "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2" sold a million copies in its first two weeks, "Crash Bandicoot N.

Sane Trilogy" over 2.5 million copies in the first three months of its release.

And even Activision itself announced that the "Spyro Reignited Trilogy" "performed well" in its initial sales charts. With numbers these big, surely this is a disastrous decision that Activision will regret making, right? Well, probably not, unfortunately.

Recently, Activison's Q4 revenue grew 21% to $2.41 billion, so it doesn't look like their bottom line will be negatively impacted anytime soon.

Is there hope?

Fortunately, when one publisher abandons an entire niche, others inevitably come to fill it. After Activision ran the "Spider-Man" series to the ground with the terrible game after terrible game, Sony got the rights to the franchise and commissioned Insomniac games to make the acclaimed PlayStation 4 "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man Miles Morales."

While another "Crash" or "Spyro" seems unlikely now, studios such as Insomniac and Double Fine aim to scratch that 3D platformer itch with "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" and "Psychonauts 2, respectively."

Finally, publishers aren't the only means by which developers can fund their games.

Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Fig have made possible the kinds of games that AAA publishers arbitrarily decided were unprofitable.

"A Hat in Time," "Shovel Knight," and "Broken Age" were successful games that were bankrolled entirely by fans while big publishers were too afraid to take a gamble and experiment. So, while fans may mourn the loss of "Crash," "Spyro," and many others, they'd be doing themselves a disservice by not supporting other developers who make an effort to catch the ball that publishers such as Activision drop.

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