Activision's Toys For Bob (Skylanders, Star Control) making an UE4 service game

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
New series? It's also possible it's a re-imagining of what Skylanders is.

Highlights:
  • For those who don't remember, Toys For Bob is owned by Activision Blizzard.
  • They're making an Unreal Engine 4 game. Skylanders is not an Unreal Engine 4 game.
  • This game has online multiplayer, and is described as a "games as a service" title.
  • They list both consoles and PC in the job postings. Skylanders wasn't on PC.
  • They do mention "managing licensor requests and feedback" at one point, so it might be a licensed game.
  • Oddly, they mention "Fluent in French" as a bonus.
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First, there's a bunch of postings like this for an Unreal Engine 4 game:

Toys for Bob is looking for a qualified Generalist Software Engineer with Unreal Engine 4 experience to join our team in creating the next generation in our history of award-winning, best-selling games.

This individual will be responsible for providing guidance to other engineers and to content creators on best practices working with the Unreal Engine.

http://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/toysforbob/jobs/software-engineer-unreal-1114

And then the Executive Producer job which sheds a bit more light on what the game is:

Toys for Bob is seeking a uniquely qualified Executive Producer to join our team in creating the next generation in our history of award-winning, best-selling games.

The Executive Producer should have extensive experience with console and PC game development processes for products which are online multiplayer and run GAAS. This individual must be a leader as well as a team player, highly organized, self-motivated, and detail oriented with great follow-through skills and the ability to prioritize and manage large complex organizational and executional issues. Superior strategic, operational, and verbal/written communication skills are a must.

Responsibilities include forging strong, successful partnerships with internal and external development teams (including day-to-day communication and management as necessary), overseeing localization efforts, managing licensor requests and feedback, helping to manage QA efforts internally, supervision and guidance for the internal production team, and closely tracking submission and approval process with the Developer, 1st Party Partners, and other stakeholders. The Executive Producer will ensure that milestones are delivered on-time, on-budget and complete as per the approved Development plan, and that the approved submissions maintain a high standard of quality and brand integrity. In addition, this individual will also be supporting various post-launch support efforts from the Developer and any ongoing content development.

Skills and Experience:
College degree or equivalent preferred.
10+ years' experience in console videogame game production; at least three AAA console game shipped at a Senior Producer. At least one AAA, Gen-8 title shipped.
Minimum 5+ years' prior experience at a Senior Producer level or equivalent with a game developer.
Game Development experience, through an entire product's development from Concept to Street.
A strong background and understanding of multi-platform video game production preferred.
Knowledge of Perforce, Maya, Photoshop and Unreal development a plus.
Practical experience in setting, guiding and evaluating multiple styles of production processes.
Experience with multiplayer games and games as a service.
Excellent leadership, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
Solid knowledge of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Knowledge of MS Project a plus.
Fluent in French a plus

http://activision.referrals.selectminds.com/toysforbob/jobs/executive-producer-toys-for-bob-1075
 

luffeN

Member
Maybe French is relating to the client you have to communicate with? Any French companies with a product line for games?

Edit: There is also a huge loc company in Paris, but not sure the EP has anything to do with it.

Edit 2: It says "overseeing localization efforts".

Edit 3: Is Toys for Bob exclusive to a certain publisher or are they "free"? Derp: It is Activision of course.
 

jonno394

Member
So, a company who have specialised in toys to life games for the last decade are making a licensed game? if it continues to be TtL, I wonder what licenses are big enough?

Maybe Disney are continuing with their licensing out of IP and after Infinity they don't want to make their own stuff, but want some of that money?

edit - other than the comments about a licensor, there's nothing topping this potentially being a new UE4 based Skylanders right?
 

gortsi

Neo Member
By hiatus you mean not getting a new release this year? Hypothetically, part of that could be because they are moving engines, changing it a service type game etc which takes a lot longer than an annual refresh.

No console release this year, but they did announce a mobile game in the series. It'll be interesting if the rumoured cancellation of Lego Dimensions changes their plans
 

fernoca

Member
Skylanders is only getting DLC this year, along the new season at Netflix. (EDIT: And yeah, mobile game too).

Vicarious Visions and Beenox also work on Skylanders, so they could be doing that (this year's game would've been from them, as Toys for Bob made last year's Imaginators).

It could be Skylanders still, the first one was on PC after all. But it seems is something else.

Even if it was, it would be out by 2018. So a new engine wouldn't be crazy to use around.
 
This is purely conjecture on my part but:

Skylanders games from both TFB and Vicarious Visions have previously been made on Vicarious Visions' engine "Alchemy". It's also been used in other Activision studios/projects.

I believe Crash Bandicoot is the last project VV are doing with Alchemy, based on something I had seen posted by a VV employee saying "Farewell Alchemy" showing a T-Shirt featuring the Alchemy logo as the sun in a sunset. I personally don't follow any VV people or know any, this was shown to me by someone. I don't want to post it publicly because I think it's a personal account, and I don't have it handy. I can try and track it down and show it to a moderator if need be though.

Entirely possible that Alchemy has been retired company wide, not just at VV.

EDIT: The "Fluent in French" could be for interacting with Beenox; which could also put more points in the Skylanders column?
 

gortsi

Neo Member
This is purely conjecture on my part but:

Skylanders games from both TFB and Vicarious Visions have previously been made on Vicarious Visions' engine "Alchemy". It's also been used in other Activision studios/projects.

I believe Crash Bandicoot is the last project VV are doing with Alchemy, based on something I had seen posted by a VV employee saying "Farewell Alchemy" showing a T-Shirt featuring the Alchemy logo as the sun in a sunset. I personally don't follow any VV people or know any, this was shown to me by someone. I don't want to post it publicly because I think it's a personal account, and I don't have it handy. I can try and track it down and show it to a moderator if need be though.

Entirely possible that Alchemy has been retired company wide, not just at VV.

EDIT: The "Fluent in French" could be for interacting with Beenox; which could also put more points in the Skylanders column?

Could it be an MMO where all previously released figures work?
 
I'm just shocked and glad for them that they weren't shut down. Activision's whole MO is to grind out the same game year after year until it stops selling and then close the studio.

My wild guess is Toys for Bob is working on an ip from the french arm of Illumination Entertainment. They are responsible for Despicable Me and Minions.
 

HStallion

Now what's the next step in your master plan?
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
This is purely conjecture on my part but:

Skylanders games from both TFB and Vicarious Visions have previously been made on Vicarious Visions' engine "Alchemy". It's also been used in other Activision studios/projects.

I believe Crash Bandicoot is the last project VV are doing with Alchemy, based on something I had seen posted by a VV employee saying "Farewell Alchemy" showing a T-Shirt featuring the Alchemy logo as the sun in a sunset. I personally don't follow any VV people or know any, this was shown to me by someone. I don't want to post it publicly because I think it's a personal account, and I don't have it handy. I can try and track it down and show it to a moderator if need be though.

Entirely possible that Alchemy has been retired company wide, not just at VV.

EDIT: The "Fluent in French" could be for interacting with Beenox; which could also put more points in the Skylanders column?
It's not impossible they're mixing up the Skylanders formula into a service platform and also switching engines, yes.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
By hiatus you mean not getting a new release this year? Hypothetically, part of that could be because they are moving engines, changing it a service type game etc which takes a lot longer than an annual refresh.

There's also a mobile game that's targeting this year.
 
It's not impossible they're mixing up the Skylanders formula into a service platform and also switching engines, yes.

With the series' sales declining and it not getting a console entry this year, a major shift in business model for the franchise for 2018 would make sense.
 
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