TFB Rumor Alert!

It all started with a tweet:

“To be fair to Spyro, Toys for Bob seem to be really excited about, so it could potentially be a good game.”

It’s no secret that the TFB guessing game is still on.  Unfortunately, I’ve never played any of the Spyro games.  I know that Insomniac originally made it and has a diverse fan base of its own.  The idea of a new Spyro game came from some recent domain name registrations related to “Spyro” and “Sky Landers”, a possible spin-off.

Activision has made a few unexpected announcements:

  • No more Guitar Hero or DJ Hero sequels will be made due to declining sales
  • Sledgehammer Games will be making the next Call of Duty game
  • True Crime: Hong Kong has been cancelled during development due to quality and marketing concerns.
  • A Nintendo DS game based on the Squinkies toy franchise will be made.  Activision will announce another game during the 2011 Toy Fair, February 13-16.

In addition to the toy fair, Activision also mentioned this in their December Quarter and Calendar Year 2010 Financial Results:

"...a new property from Bungie and an innovative new universe with broad appeal that will be revealed at Toy Fair later this week and will bring the world of toys, video games and the Internet together in an unprecedented way. These investments should better position Activision Blizzard for long‐term growth and enable it to continue expanding its position as the largest digital publisher."
‐ Quote from Company Outlook section

There are 2 images of dragons created by Laurie Ann Franks, an artist at Toys for Bob.  Since one of the images is a purple dragon, people have speculated that the next Spyro will be much older in his next game.

Laurie has removed the two images from her website and added this statement:

"There used to be some pictures of dragons on this page.

I do fan art like a lot of other gamers who are also artists....and I suppose any sort of fan art I do because of my job at Activision leads to speculation, so I took it down.

The stuff here is purely my own off‐hours fan‐art type stuff: NOT PROFESSIONAL!"
‐ Laurie Ann Franks

I’m glad to see TFB’s name popping up in the news and spreading like wildfire. However, I do not believe that TFB’s project has anything to do with Spyro.  However, I am curious about what Activision will announce at this toy fair.  What are the chances that Toys for Bob will be making a game directly related to toys?  The closest thing I can think of is the Toys Story levels and characters in Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure.  However, I highly doubt that Activision would announce a child-friendly game such as Squinkies and announce something else that is the exact opposite.

Although the toy fair is not open to the general public, I will be looking out for any Activision-related news from this.  Here’s some info I found about the NYC Toy Fair:

  • Examples of famous toys debuted in previous Toy Fairs: Silly Putty (1950), Mr. Potato Head (1952), Barbie (1959), Tickle Me Elmo (2006)
  • Activision's booth falls under the following categories: "Action Figures", "Components - Toy & Game, Electronic", "Interactive Toys (not plush) (Interactive, Plug-and-Play TV Games)" and "Video Games & Accessories"

In conclusion, there is most likely a Spyro game in development.  I do not believe that TFB is behind it.  Laurie has stated that the art on her 2D/Concept is not related to her professional work for TFB.  With the announcement of no more Guitar Hero and DJ Hero, this could be a sign that Activision is looking at different video game peripherals or something that involves collecting.  For example, when Pokemon was released, it was financially successful in the form of video games, toys and playing cards.

Do you think Activision will reveal something epic at the Toy Fair?

Toy Fair Website
Joystiq Article about Activision at the Toy Fair
Laurie Ann Franks’ Website
Activision’s Booth Information
Activision Blizzard Reports December Quarter and Calendar Year 2010 Financial Results

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